639 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 27th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 205 449 after 1 098 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West with 178 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 26 December 2021, was: 376 hospitalised cases: 28 New Admissions, 59 Asymptomatic cases, 253 mild-to-moderate cases, 60 severe cases and 4 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 2 008 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 105 020. A total of 1 790 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 111 149. A total of 3 943 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 3 943. Active cases went down to 33 824. The total number of recoveries went up to 166 717 increasing by 4 506 recoveries. The recovery remarkably rose to 81%. The death toll went up to 4 908 after 17 deaths were recorded.
We note the roll-out of the vaccine-booster shots/ third vaccine shots. We further note and appreciate the publication of the guidelines for vaccine booster shots- or the third vaccine shot. We highlight that booster shots will be provided to those within the frontline healthcare sector as a priority before consideration is given to other high risk groups in the population. We note further that booster vaccine shots are the same vaccine with which was previously administered as vaccination shots.
Critical Emerging Issue
Status of 4th Wave of COVID-19
We amplify the reports regarding the COVID-19 pandemic thus far. We note that the last 30 days (November 27-December 27) saw over 70 000 new cases of COVID-19 and 188 deaths, ( of which 104 of those deaths, were recorded in the previous seven days.) Accordingly, we note that the rate of infection, measured by the number of new daily cases, rocketed far faster than the previous three surges of infection. This is in tandem with the Omicron variant which has an increased rate of infectiousness and transmissibility driving the 4th wave. However, we continue to note with concern the high levels of inter household and inter community mass engagements with limited adherence to infection control measures which we fear may indeed indicate a potential rise in infections as we enter the new year.
- We urge consistency in COVID-19 enforcement patterns.
- We call upon uniform COVID-19 measures and non-selective implementation of guidelines at all levels of our society.
- We amplify our recommendations for increased sero-prevalence and genomic testing nationwide and the publication of the same results.
Shunning of Face Masks
We highlight, with concern, reports from our networks in 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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe