Zimbabwe Lockdown: Day 676– WCOZ Situation Report

677 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 3rd of February 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 230 170 after 158 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Manicaland with 46 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 2 February 2022, was: 40 hospitalised cases: 5 New Admissions, 3 Asymptomatic cases, 33 mild-to-moderate cases, 4 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 3 511 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 281 905. A total of 3 511 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 331 204. A total of 1 534 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 62 778. Active cases went down to 4 458. The recovery rate remains at 95%. The total number of recoveries went up to 220 355 increasing by 358 recoveries. The death toll goes up to 5 357 after 5 deaths were recorded.

Area of Concern

Call for Self-Testing Guidelines by the WHO

We join the Africa wide call for the WHO to set guidelines to support countries in the provision and supply of COVID-19 testing available in test kits usable in homes. We join the call that is routed in addressing the queries of both under-testing and limited genome and sero-prevalence testing on the continent. We note that the high costs of self-testing mean that rich and developed nations as are able to support their communities by having economies that make COVID-19 self-testing kits easily available which is not the same in Africa and indeed in Zimbabwe.

We amplify the concern regarding the reported shortages that communities have raised in regards to the accessing free testing. We further highlight with concern that often families prefer to self-medicate without securing tests as the costs to access the tests and health centres may deprive households of resources for treatment. This is in contrast to the millions of people in rich countries were COVID-19 self-tests have been more abundant and free.We note the important role the role WHO guideline could play in supporting self-testing which are inexpensive in the global market.

We note that without the wealth of rich countries to buy tests or evaluate their safety, poorer and developing countries must wait for WHO approval prior to securing support of international aid agencies to support with large scale donations of the same.We amplify concerns that deaths of COVID-19 patients are occurring in Zimbabwean largely due to the fact that people present themselves late to health centres and test too late to get the critical life-saving care necessary.

We note that if affordable self-testing was easily accessible lives would be saved. We amplify that in the face of under-testing and low vaccination we call on the WHO and Governments to appreciate that communities and citizens would be more empowered to take action if at-home tests were available.

  • We call for the setting and publication of self-testing guidelines to be set by the WHO.
  • We call for the direct support to diagnostic capacity in countries equitably.
  • We call for the strengthening of testing tracing and treatment cycle.

Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe


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