Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 661– WCOZ Situation Report

661 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 18th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 226 887 after 427 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tallies were recorded in Masvingo and Mashonaland East with 69 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 17 January 2022, was: 154 hospitalised cases: 18 New Admissions, 14 Asymptomatic cases, 121 mild-to-moderate cases, 12 severe cases and 7 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 6 117 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 215 836. A total of 6 331 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 242 414. A total of 2 101 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 2 101. Active cases went down to 11 868. The recovery rate remains to 92%. The total number of recoveries went up to 226 887 increasing by 209 753 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 266 after 8 deaths were recorded.

Critical Emerging Issue

Availability of Blood and Blood Services

We highlight the chronic and persistent need to ensure individuals and communities have access to safe and quality-assured blood and blood products in both normal and emergency situations. We remain concerned by consistent blood shortages in Zimbabwe which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Further, we continue to highlight the high costs of blood in Zimbabwe which together with high costs of health services, makes healthcare increasingly unaffordable. We call on more people to become lifesavers by volunteering to donate blood regularly. We celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood, and we encourage more people to start donating.

• We call for Government to promote and provide quality donor care.

Today is a call to action for Government and national blood transfusion services to invest in national blood services, provide adequate resources and put in place appropriate systems and infrastructure to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.

We further call Government to:

• Sustain the investments in provision and universal access to blood services for all system
• Specifically ensure that the cost of blood is affordable to the generality to the Zimbabwean public
• Promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood
• Strengthen the provision for testing kits and blood bags for blood services in Zimbabwe negatively impacted by the COVID19 Lockdown restrictions
• Strengthen the systems for the oversight and surveillance on the whole chain of blood transfusion and distribution of blood and blood products.

Outstanding Issue

COVID-19 Fatigue among New Restrictions

We note, with alarm the complacency that has set in among all layers of Zimbabwean society regarding COVID-19 measures. We note with concern that today the first day of the increased restrictions the reports from our community monitors continue to indicate a broad-based trend of lack of urgency and complacency in adhering to face mask wearing, frequent sanitisation and keeping of distance. We note further that compounding the problem appears to be weak messaging to effect change of behaviour in fatigued citizens and communities. We note with alarm the relaxed approach to enforcement of recently announced restrictions broadly.

• We call for fresh and invested messaging and public health communication on the third wave in Zimbabwe and an urge to improve changes in community behaviour immediately to stem a potential crisis.
• We call for full and human rights respectful, enforcement of lockdown measures in socio-economic institutions and centres including stores and markets.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe

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