691 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 17th of February 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 232 598 after 385 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 130 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 16 February 2022, was: 40 hospitalised cases: 4 New Admissions, 15 Asymptomatic cases, 22 mild-to-moderate cases, 3 severe cases and 0 cases in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 3 998 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 326 790. A total of 5 540 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 359 094. A total of 2 863 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 92 522. Active cases went up to 2 892. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The total number of recoveries went up to 224 325 increasing by 134 recoveries. The death toll goes up to 5 381 after 2 death were recorded.
We note with concern that the cases in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces continue to rise. We note that direct coverage of the outbreaks has included the 60 new cases arising from schools in Matebeleland North with 32 cases and 28 cases in Masvingo directly.
Area of Concern
COVID-19 Surveillance in Schools
We highlight the resumption of the education calendar and raise concerns regarding ensuring community based surveillance systems are well supported to respond swiftly to incidents of potential localised outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools and in communities.
We note lessons learnt in prior resumption of schools and accordingly urge the following;
- Increased direct efforts to test students in public boarding schools and in community schools to stem the potential super spreader potential of infections in schools.
- Increased support for testing and tracing systems in schools prior to outbreaks spreading
- We continue to remind the Government that vaccination is not a substitute for infection control.
- We urge decentralisation of supplies and materials from provincial centres to district centres to strengthen the response times and response capacities of teams on the ground.
- We continue to urge schools and communities to exercise the highest levels of vigilance and protect learners and learning institutions from wide spread outbreaks of COVID-19.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe