663 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 20th of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 227 695 after 397 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 83 cases each. We note that the hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 19 January 2022, was: 119 hospitalised cases: 12 New Admissions, 8 Asymptomatic cases, 90 mild-to-moderate cases, 16 severe cases and 5 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 5 542 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 228 376. A total of 5 137 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 254 587 A total of 2 223 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 35 554. Active cases went down to 10833. The recovery rate remains at 93%. The total number of recoveries went up to 211 582 increasing by 907 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 280 after 4 deaths were recorded.
Critical emerging issue
By-elections and adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols
We continue to note various electoral activities by stakeholders in response of the Proclamation of March 26, 2022, as the date for By-Elections in Zimbabwe. We continue to underscore the importance of ensuring that citizens are afforded the opportunity to freely exercise their democratic right to vote, campaign and contest, while at the same time prioritising safety and protection from COVID-19.
- We urge the timeous publishing of a Guidance note from ZEC for guiding the electorate and candidates in order 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 note 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.
Low uptake of the third dose vaccine /booster shot
We continue to note with concern, persistent low uptake of the third dose/booster vaccine amongst citizens. We highlight that 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 urge the expansion of mobile vaccination centres in remote and rural areas.
- We 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