676 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 2nd of February 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 230 012 after 161 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 33 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 1 February 2022, was: 61 hospitalised cases: 14 New Admissions, 6 Asymptomatic cases, 47 mild-to-moderate cases, 6 severe cases and 2 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 4 017 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 278 394. A total of 3 734 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 307 507. A total of 2 452 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 61 244. Active cases went down to 4 663. The recovery rate remains at 95%. The total number of recoveries went up to 219 776 increasing by 221 recoveries. The death toll goes up to 5 352 after 12 deaths were recorded.
Area of Concern
Upscaling the Vaccination Drive
We commend the implementation of the Door- to-Door vaccination drive in Bulawayo communities which is set to address the deeply problematic drops in COVID-19 vaccination shots. We spotlight the decline of vaccination programme which at one point saw Zimbabwe leading the SADC region in vaccine shots administered and yet now has rapidly declined and continue to be well behind the national vaccination target of 10 million persons to secure heard immunity.
We commend the Government operating in concert at all levels of the province for ensuring that vaccination is prioritised in the face of COVID-19 fatigue and increasing vigilance in the face of potential rise of the COVID-19 variants and sub-variants.
- We call for the National COVID-19 Taskforce to take heed of the good practises in Bulawayo and rapidly seek to upscale the same across the country.
- We call for prioritisation of communities recording limited vaccination to ensure a targeted vaccination blitz in provinces, and no one is left behind.
Imminent Re-opening of Schools
We note the imminent re-opening of schools scheduled for 7 February 2022. We further note various preparations under-way by various communities and stakeholders, as physical lessons are set to resume. We highlight the need to prioritize the safety of learners, teachers and supporting staff, by minimizing risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- We call upon Government to strengthen the improvement of water and sanitation infrastructure and services to schools across the country.
- We call upon Government to expedite the provision of masks and other PPE’s to Schools in readiness of resumption of the education sector in advance of opening.
- We call for a moratorium of fee increases which have serves to exacerbate abate the ability of student to return to schools due to the inability to afford the fee increases.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe