635 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 23rd of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 201 344 after 1 940 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mash East with 334 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 22 December 2021, 401 hospitalised cases: 49 New Admissions, 21 Asymptomatic cases, 335 mild-to-moderate cases, 41 severe cases and 4 case in Intensive Care Units. A total of 10 370 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 089 039. A total of 10 148 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 098 820. Active cases went up to 45 180. The total number of recoveries went up to 151 309 increasing by 3 640 recoveries. The recovery rate went up to 75%. The death toll went up to 4 855 after 27 new deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Rise in Infections Due to Lack of Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures
We highlight the COVID-19 containment measures announced by the Government three weeks ago. The stricter measures, on paper were announced in direct response to the increase infections and hospitalisations that characterised the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe. However, we are concerned to note that the measures were strictly paper, as they lack effective enforcement on the ground. We observe that nationwide, in communities there is nominal to non-existence of critical measures which ought to drive a break in the infection chain.
We call for Government to act by ensuring effective enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in rural, urban and peri urban communities, especially during the festive season.
- We urge support to the public transport operators to ensure that mobility does not compromise infection control during the festive season.
- We call for the restraint of political parties in undertaking large scale public gatherings which appear to be one of the main causes of outbreaks of infection.
- We continue to call for expanded vaccination centres to bring the vaccine where the people are at during the festive season.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe