633 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 21st of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 197 768 after 2 689 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland East with 481 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 20 December 2021, 426 hospitalised cases: 60 New Admissions, 44 Asymptomatic cases, 333 mild-to-moderate cases, 42 severe cases and 7 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 8 980 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 069 026. A total of 7 953 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 082 651. Active cases went down to 48 202. The total number of recoveries went up to 144 747 increasing by 3 935 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up to 73%. The death toll went up to 4 819 after 14 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Congestion and Festive Season Activities Daring Zimbabwean Resilience
We amplify the festive season congestion in most social and economic spaces across the country. We remain gravely concerned with limited real time changes in the day to day lives of Zimbabweans whilst the country ensures the 4th wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant. We are concerned that as the variant appears to be less severe than its predecessors, this narrative, has supported an extreme relaxation in the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of the public in respecting and adhering to anti-COVID-19 measures.
We note that the informal sector and rural communities once again will be at the core face of infections and hospitalisations as evidenced by outbreaks and limited infection control in those respective communities. We are concerned that members of the informal and rural sectors will be hard hit once more with limited support to ensure that they are critically enabled to participate in the post-COVID-19 recovery process.
We call for support to the informal sector to ensure equitable post-COVID-19 recovery resources which are already catered for in the IMF, Special Drawing rights programme. We continue to urge the establishment of vaccination centres at Bus termini and other inter-exchanges, agri- centres and new housing development communities.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe