665 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of January 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 228 179 after 218 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 65 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 21 January 2022, was: 167 hospitalised cases: 19 New Admissions, 12 Asymptomatic cases, 110 mild-to-moderate cases, 37 severe cases and 8 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 4 897 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 239 261. A total of 5 007 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 267 253. A total of 1 943 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 41 986. Active cases went down to 9 894. The recovery rate remains at 93%. The total number of recoveries went up to 212 993 increasing by 525 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 292 after 4 deaths were recorded.
Critical Emerging Issue
Shunning of Face Masks
We continue to highlight, with concern, reports from our networks, which indicate an increased level of shunning of face mask wearing. We note the negative messages that communities are directing towards mask wearers, labelling them as disrespectful and/or of acting more sophisticated than the rest of the community by wearing masks around them. We further note the same practice by congregants in various church institutions which reflect relaxed attitudes towards the pandemic and a belief that the worst is over.
• We urge Government, Faith Based Organisations, Traditional Leaders and all those working to accurately inform communities of the COVID-19 pandemic to step up the messaging and awareness- raising initiatives.
• We urge communities to remain vigilant and continue to practice the highest levels of masks wearing particularly as we note the real constraints in public spaces of adhering to social distancing.
Importance of Tracking, Monitoring and Reporting COVID-19 Variants
We continue to call for persistency and consistency in tracking, monitoring and sharing with the public the results of the genomic sequencing to trace COVID-19 variants of interest and variants of concern nationally. We continue to amplify reports from the local scientific community calling for the need to support research in genomic surveillance of COVID-19 positive cases among fully vaccinated individuals to determine the effectiveness against variants of interests and variants of concern. This monitoring is necessary to ensure tracking of vaccine efficacy in the face of the variants which can indeed nullify the gains of vaccines presently developed. Despite cases indicating a low number of international COVID-19 transmissions, we remain alive to the potential infection control implications of increased relaxation of COVID-19 regulations, increased socio-economic activities and increased traffic at our borders. The vigilance in regard to the potential variants of interest and variants of concern are a critical element in protecting the gains made thus far in the COVID-19 response.
• We call for the increased support into local research into genomic surveillance of COVID-19 positive cases among fully vaccinated individuals directly
• We call for publication of the results of COVID-19 variant tracking widely.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe