620 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 8th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 150 628 after 4 996 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 1 558 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 7 December 2021, 214 hospitalised cases: 58 New Admissions, 4 Asymptomatic cases, 179 mild-to-moderate cases, 29 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Units. A total of 11 271 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 3 907 860. A total of 15 183 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 2 926 141. Active cases go up to 16 813. The total number of recoveries went up to 129 095 increasing by 89 recoveries. The recovery rate has dropped further to 86% from 89%. The death toll goes up to 4 720 after 2 new deaths were recorded today.
We note that the nation is officially experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19, characterised by the sharp spread of COVID-19 in various institutions, compelling temporary suspension of operations and closure of offices. While we commend these prompt measures as critical for curbing further spread of the virus, we emphasise on the need to ensure that access to critical services such as access to justice, health care and parliamentary oversight is not restricted. We call upon Government and stakeholders, learning from lessons of the previous COVID-19 waves, to quickly implement comprehensive strategies for uninterrupted access to critical services during this phase
Critical Emerging Issue
In-coming Mandatory Vaccination for Public Transport Usage
We note the expansion of vaccination sites to include the main intra and inter-city bus termini. We note further, Government’s notice to the public through the Post Cabinet Briefings that citizens must brace themselves for mandatory vaccination as a pre-requisite for usage of and access to public transport.
- We urge Government to reconsider its position with a view to avoid infliction of unnecessary hardship on citizens due to policies which are not in correspondence with the reality of communities on the ground.
- We further urge Government to support the expanded vaccination drive and hold back from creating the mandatory vaccination mandate prior to the thresholds of 50% citizens fully vaccinated.
Closure of Courts
We take note regarding the Judicial Service commission announcement regarding the two day temporary closure of courts will affect the JSC Harare Head Office and at least 19 Magistrates’ Courts around the country following confirmation of Covid-19 cases. We note that the closure is temporary beginning on the Wednesday the 8th, ending Thursday 9th of December 2021 to permit disinfection of premises, testing and contact tracing to contain the spread of the virus. Business will resume Friday, 10 December 2021.
The affected courts are as follows:- Harare Civil and Criminal (Rotten Row) Courts; Tredgold Court in Bulawayo; Gweru Criminal; Gwanda Civil and Criminal Courts; Plumtree; Mutawatawa; Shurugwi; Chitungwiza; Goromonzi; Norton; Rusape; Chegutu; Inyathi; Kadoma; Mbare; and Mutare Civil and Criminal Courts
- We call for the JSC to strengthen contact tracing of members of the public who were in attendance at courts.
- We call for extended testing of the population of detainees and prisoner to support testing and tracing.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe