647 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 4th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 217 678 after 1 591 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mashonaland West with 292 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 3 January 2022, was: 320 hospitalised cases: 45 New Admissions, 60 Asymptomatic cases, 220 mild-to-moderate cases, 34 severe cases and 6 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 4 863 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 141 158. A total of 5 399 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 153 058. A total of 746 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 7 254. Active cases went down to 24 620. The recovery rate remains at 86%. The total number of recoveries went up to 187 980 increasing by 2 386 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 076 after 31 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Home-based Care and Increase in Community Deaths
We note with sadness and great concern the disturbingly high number of community deaths being recorded. We are concerned that communities are shouldering the burden of testing, treating and death largely alone and unsupported by the services that are supposed to be easily and readily available to them as a whole. We further note that of the 24 620 currently active COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe, only 320 cases are currently hospitalised and the noting of only 60 of those being asymptomatic. This underscores the reality 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.
Vaccination of Learners
As Schools, in particular, exam classes begin to reopen to young people, we seek to amplify the call to guardians and parents to make efforts to support the vaccination of those over 16 years and are in learning institutions. We highlight with concern that COVID-19 outbreaks are indeed usually driven by leaning centre outbreaks. It is a critical support measure therefore, to ensure that besides the traditional get-back- to- school- routine undertaken by families, COVID-19 vaccinations are prioritised and are supported at household level.
- We call for parent and guardians of persons over the ages of 16 to support and ensure children are fully informed and are vaccinated
- We call for parents and guardians of children who are in community schools or other learning centres which have not been operating as vaccination centres to engage the nearest vaccination centre to secure vaccinations
- We implore parents and guardian to get vaccinated and lead by example.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe