683 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 9th of February 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 230 880 after 140 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 44 cases each. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 8 February 2022, was: 17 hospitalised cases: 5 New Admissions, 1 Asymptomatic case, 13 mild-to-moderate cases, 3 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 5 549 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 302 063. A total of 4 730 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 331 549. A total of 3 507 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 74 602. Active cases went down to 3 250. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The total number of recoveries went up to 222 263 increasing by 280 recoveries. The death toll remains at 5 367 after 0 deaths were recorded.
Area of Concern
Continued and Unjustifiable High Costs of Testing for COVID-19
We continue to track with grave concern the unrelenting high costs of COVID-19 tests which is no longer justifiable economically. We highlight the reports and reality of the high costs of testing for COVID-19, in particular the PCR tests. We note the context presently include custodial sentences for travellers into Zimbabwe or leaving Zimbabwe who may present fake COVID-19 certificates. We note further, the rise of the infections, in hospitalisations and deaths of COVID-19 which require a re-prioritisation of the test and trace mechanisms.
We highlight the measures to support increased and accessible COVID-19 testing through the removal of customs duties for COVID-19 test kits as per Statutory Instrument 88 of 2020, Customs and Excise (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (No. 101). Accordingly, we note further, reports that indicate that the widely used test kits imported from China namely the Nantong Diagnosis Covid-19 and Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit, are being imported at between one US$1 dollar and US$10 for 1 000 units. These costs are in stark contrast to the actual costs of testing in Zimbabwe which range between USD$50 to USD75 per test. We further highlight the limited reach of testing which is relying on areas where pre-identified cases are present and not proactively seeking or ensuring other hotspots are detected through the normal testing of citizens.
- We call for the reduction of test costs to ensure that private sector and the general socio-economic activities which encourage testing are accessible through affordable testing services to communities.
- We reiterate our call for Government to intervene in this public health emergency and actively ensure that reduction of testing costs throughout Zimbabwe.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe