640 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 28th of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 207 548 after 2 099 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland East with 337 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 27 December 2021, was: 303 hospitalised cases: 44 New Admissions, 57 Asymptomatic cases, 189 mild-to-moderate cases, 54 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 1 855 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 106 875. A total of 2 048 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 115 197. A total of 50 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 3 993. Active cases went down to 32 645. The total number of recoveries went up to 169 963 increasing by 3 246 recoveries. The death toll went up to 4 940 after 32 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Home-based Care and Increase in Community Deaths
We note with sadness and great concern that of the 32 deaths recorded, 12 of these were community deaths. We further note that of the 32 645 currently active COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe, only 303 cases are currently hospitalised. This therefore reveals that a greater burden of COVID-19 management is being carried by communities and at household level. We highlight the need to ensure that relevant and adequate support is provided to communities in order to alleviate various difficulties presented by home-based COVID-19 care and management.
We urge the following measures to be implemented by Government and stakeholders:
- Ensuring capacitation and resourcing of community isolation centres in order to cater for households that are incapable of practising self-isolation due to their restricted living and housing conditions.
- Provision of PPE to households taking care of COVID-19 patients.
- Stepping up on awareness campaigns on handling of COVID-19 deaths at community level in order to minimise risk of infection.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe