652 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 9th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 222 291 after 373 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Harare with 66 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on8 January 2022, was: 164 hospitalised cases: 18 New Admissions, 5 Asymptomatic cases, 136 mild-to-moderate cases, 21 severe cases and 2 case in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 2 986 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 167 808. A total of 4 698 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 186 514. A total of 1 482 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 13 352. Active cases went down to 22 825. The recovery rate remained at 87%. The total number of recoveries went up to 194 306 increasing by 1 757 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 160 after 12 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Reduced media coverage of COVID-19
We note, with growing concern, reduced media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe, as the Nation continues to implement the vaccination programme and as the pandemic continue to be present and the lockdown is within a 2 week extension. We are concerned at the high number of community deaths which require that communities and the media at large remain vigilant of the pandemic. We further note the COVID-19 fatigue not only amongst communities, but also amongst stakeholders, duty bearers, the media and information community.
Cognisant of the key role played by the media in addressing matters of national concern;
- We call upon the media to remain vigilant to the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
- We call upon the editors and respective newsrooms to continue to prioritise the coverage and reporting of COVID-19 as we face difficulties in navigating the curve of infections.
Reduced vaccination uptake
We note with concern, a decline in the vaccination rate of doses being administered on a daily basis, which in the past week has been averaging below 5 000 on a daily basis. We further note little uptake of the third dose/booster vaccine amongst citizens. The low numbers could suggest renewed vaccine hesitancy amongst communities, against the backdrop of a COVID-19 variant (Omicron) which has been largely perceived by communities as “mild”.
- We therefore recommend a robust revival of the awareness campaign and community mobilisation on vaccination, especially the 3rd dose /booster shots.
- We urge easy access to information regarding booster shots, by all citizens, especially targeted vulnerable groups and communities such as persons with disabilities, various subgroups of women, rural populace and those in hard-to-reach areas.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe