649 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 6th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 220 178 after 1 121 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Mash East with 233 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 5 January 2022, was: 298 hospitalised cases: 48 New Admissions, 37 Asymptomatic cases, 236 mild-to-moderate cases, 23 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 5 887 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 153 879. A total of 7 790 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 169 785. A total of 1 198 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 9 503. Active cases went down to 24 070. The recovery rate remained at 87%. The total number of recoveries went up to 191 000 increasing by 1 287 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 108 after 16 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
By-Elections and Adherence to COVID-19 Safety Protocols
We note the Proclamation of March 26, 2022, as the date for By-Elections in Zimbabwe. While welcoming the latest development, we highlight the imperative need to strike a balance between the safety, health and of citizens on one hand, and ensuring free and full participation of eligible citizens in this democratic process. We underscore the importance of ensuring that citizens are afforded the opportunity to freely exercise their democratic right to vote, campaign and contest in a COVID-19 safeguarding responsive context.
- We urge the timeous publishing of a Guidance note from Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) for guiding the electorate and candidates to ensure their safe and equal participation in the By-Elections during COVID-19.
- We urge political parties and other stakeholders to be alive to the challenging COVID-19 context, and to conduct their activities in preparation of the By-Elections, in a manner that does not plunge the country into another potential wave.
- We urge uniform enforcement of the COVID-19 Regulations, and equal treatment before the law for all citizens political parties and stakeholders during this period.
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.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimabwe