632 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 20th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 195 079 after 2 283 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 337 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 19 December 2021, 368 hospitalised cases: 58 New Admissions, 33 Asymptomatic cases, 294 mild-to-moderate cases, 40 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 6 157 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 060 046. A total of 5 172 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 074 698. Active cases went up to 49 462. The total number of recoveries went up to 140 812 increasing by 2 415 recoveries. The recovery rate remains at 72%. The death toll went up to 4 805 after 18 new deaths were recorded.
We note with alarm the high number of death recorded and call for stronger measures to contain the spread of infection during the 4th wave of COVID-19. We note with appreciation, the donation of 1 million doses of vaccines from the People’s Republic of China. We continue to urge direct expansion of the vaccination centres.
Critical Emerging Issue
COVID-19 Outbreaks in Health Institutions
We highlight the increased cases of COVID-19 within the healthcare sector. We are concerned regarding the negative albeit, necessary, impact of reduced staffing of health centres on communities due to contact tracing and testing. We are further concerned regarding the vulnerabilities of the health sector teams to exposure of COVID-19 and the need to strengthen health centres controls on exposure to infection. We note with grave concerns , reports indicating that 436 Staffers at Zimbabwe’s largest public health institution, have been pulled from duty due to COVID-19, which has had notable negative impact on hospital operations. We remains concerned at this and other institutions facing similar risks during this 4th wave.
- We urge a robust approach to strengthening healthcare centres potential exposure to COVID-19.
- We call for the increased readiness to provide support to smaller institutions at district and village levels which are the critical primary centres of care across the country which, if such instances occur, may result in complete shut downs or inoperability of the centres.
Increased Risk of Infection with Night Life
We spotlight issues pertaining from increased nightlife and recreational activities this festive seasons. Our rapid report from the weekend, highlights concerns regarding increased risk of infections through nightlife activities. We are concerned in particular, with the lack of social distancing, consumption of alcohol in a shared manner and reduced adherence to both mask wearing and sanitisation in night clubs, pubs and other places of entertainment at night.
We are concerned furthermore, by reports indicating high levels of congestion in nightspots in Bulawayo, Harare, Gweru and Mutare. The reports of liquor stores where persons are both purchasing and consuming alcohol on the premises without regard to cCOVID-19 control measures are also of concern as reflected in our reports from Chinhoyi, Kwekwe, Gwanda, and Kariba.
- We call for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 control measures in nightspots as these can fuel outbreaks.
Source: Women’s Coalition