638 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 26th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 204 351 after 605 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Midlands and Manicaland with 88 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 25 December 2021, was: 287 hospitalised cases: 19 New Admissions, 55 Asymptomatic cases, 203 mild-to-moderate cases, 28 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 3 219 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 103 012. A total of 2 372 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 111 359. Active cases went down to 37 249. The total number of recoveries went up to 162 211 increasing by 2 237 recoveries. The recovery rate rose to 79%. The death toll went up to 4 891 after 6 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Shunning of Face Masks
We highlight, with concern, reports from our networks in most rural communities, which indicate an increased level of shunning of face mask wearing. We note the negative messages that communities are directing towards mask wearers, labelling them as disrespectful and/or of acting as if the rest of the community is disgusting by wearing masks and/or of treating those around them as less than human by wearing masks around them. We, accordingly, also throw light upon low mask wearing practises in residential communities across the country. We note further that these trends reflect relaxed attitudes towards the pandemic and a belief that the worst is over.
- We urge Government, Faith Based Organisations, Traditional Leaders and all stakeholders to amplify awareness campaigns in order to accurately inform communities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We urge communities to remain vigilant and continue to practice the highest levels of masks wearing particularly as we note the real tie constraints in public spaces of adhering to safety protocols.
- We urge the frequent washing of hands and the use of sanitizers.
Targeted Interventions for the Homeless
We continue to note the infections of COVID-19 that are presently in a spike which is occurring during a reported increase in flue cases. We accordingly draw attention to orphan and vulnerable children in particular those living on the streets. Furthermore, we draw attention to families and persons living on working in the streets who struggle to access health care services. We raise concerns with the recent rains that have increased the distress of families living and working in the streets. Furthermore, we note with concern the limited support through social welfare support services to actively reach out, test for the COVID-19 and administer vaccines to this critical and vulnerable community which is at high risk of COVID-19.
- We amplify our calls for direct support by health care teams working in tandem with social welfare community case care workers to reach out to families living In in the streets to provide COVID-19 checks and health support for needs assessed.
- We continue to call for a full public report on the status of the persons in living and working on the streets their housing and their reunifications processes and measures to ensure that they are sufficiently able to access safeguarding mechanisms against COVID-19.
- We urge the announcement of mechanisms to protect those living and working on the streets against the spread of the virus, which includes a progress report on the vaccine roll-out targeting this special group.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe