633 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 199 404 after 1 636 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland East with 303 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 21 December 2021, 414 hospitalised cases: 53 New Admissions, 33 Asymptomatic cases, 340 mild-to-moderate cases, 37 severe cases and 4 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 9 643 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 078669. A total of 6 021 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 088 672. Active cases went down to 46 907. The total number of recoveries went up to 147 669 increasing by 2 922 recoveries. The recovery rate goes up to 74%. The death toll went up to 4 828 after 9 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Community Mass Testing
While noting a decline in active cases, we recognize the need for an advanced test strategy which ensures community mass testing and contact tracing. In the absence of mass community testing and public accounting for local transmission case-tracing, it is impossible to determine the appropriate reflection of the omicron driven COVID-19 pandemic prevalence in Zimbabwe.
- We call for increased testing and the ramping up of accessing to testing kits and consumables for Zimbabwe.
- We therefore recommend the Government to provide a clear plan of action to maintaining vigilance on COVID- 19 on testing tracing and treatment for the current period to Mid-year 2022.
- We further reinforce our call for an advanced testing strategy in the Public sector and urge Government to update the Nation on the progress of testing of all members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and all lockdown enforcement officers.
These recommendations are critical to ensure we avoid reduced preparedness in the immediate post festive season context, we do not experience the “shocking” post Dec 2020-2021 surge in infections.
Congestion and Festive Season Activities Daring Zimbabwean Resilience
We amplify the festive season congestion in social and economic spaces across the country. We remain gravely concerned at 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 language, 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 coal 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 support the equitable post-COVID-19 recovery with resources already catered or in the IMF, Special Drawing rights programme.
- We continue to call for establishment of vaccination centres at Bus termini and inter-exchanges, agri-centres and new housing development communities.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe