643 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 31st of December 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 213 258 after 1 530 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland East with 297 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 30 December 2021, was: 336 hospitalised cases: 20 New Admissions, 40 Asymptomatic cases, 236 mild-to-moderate cases, 57 severe cases and 3 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 5 467 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 124 102. A total of 5 352 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 135 175. A total of 273 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 5 195. Active cases went down to 27 684. The recovery rate went up to 85%. The total number of recoveries went up to 180 570 increasing by 2 238 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 004 after 7 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Limited Enforcement and Risk of Super Spreader Events
We note the celebratory mood and the commitment of communities to commemorate the beginning of the New Year after a particularly strained 2021, and as such, we wish the Nation at large, a Happy New Year. Furthermore, we note the commitment by law enforcement to support infection control through limiting the traditional New Year’s celebratory events and supporting active deployment to ensure strict adherence to the curfew. However, our communities report broadly that large scale secular and religious events were in fact held throughout the country which indicates the need to prepare for a surge of infections due to their super spreader nature. We also note reports indicating very active night life, bars and nightclubs which were open until the very early hours of the 1st of January well past curfew, with limited-to-non enforcement of curfew regulations. We further highlight the public complaints of inequality in restriction of gatherings particularly those of a non-governmental or non-political party nature which are increasingly creating a two track society in regards to persons subject to strict COVID-19 regulations.
- We urge a uniform application of the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations throughout the country.
- We call for increased support to provincial and district COVID-19 taskforce teams for surveillance of infections.
- We call for increased community based PCR testing.
Testing Tracing and Reporting Mechanisms
We highlight gaps in the national Testing, Tracing and reporting system. We highlight the daily reports which present the PCR tests taken at district and main health centres. We note however that community health centres are undertaking rapid antigen tests which are not being reported. This gap in the reporting raises questions on the efficacy of the testing system at community level and further indicates the high levels of households and communities who are having to shoulder the COVID-19 burden without support and excluded from the support systems in place. The disease burden of the COVID-19 pandemic is largely invisible and has continued to leave communities behind.
- We call for increased vigilance in the testing and tracing of COVID-19.
- We call for the publication of both PCR and antigen test data in the public domain.
- We continue to call for the publication of the sero-prevalence and genomic testing reports from survey recently undertaken but whose reports are outstanding the public domain.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe