696 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 22nd of February 2022, the Ministry of Health and Child Care reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 233 980 after 409 new cases all local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Masvingo with 88 cases. We note that the Hospitalisation rate data as at 15:00hrs on 21 February 2022, was: 56 hospitalised cases: 9 New Admissions, 14 Asymptomatic cases, 37 mild-to-moderate cases, 4 severe cases and 1 case in Intensive Care Unit. A total of 2 801 people received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 4 340 630. A total of 2 341 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose recipients to 3 373 168. A total of 2 087 people received their 3rd dose of vaccine shots bringing the cumulative for 3rd doses to 105 570. Active cases went up to 3 449. The recovery rate remains at 96%. The total number of recoveries went up to 225 143 increasing by 104 recoveries. The death toll went up to 5 388, after 2 new deaths were recorded.
Area of Concern
By-elections and adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols
We continue to note various electoral activities by stakeholders in preparation of the Elections to be held on 26 March 2022. Noting the increasing number of gatherings currently taking place, including political party stakeholders’ meetings and rallies, we continue to underscore the importance of ensuring that citizens are afforded the opportunity to freely exercise their democratic right to vote, campaign and contest, while at the same time prioritising citizens’ safety and protection from COVID-19.
- We urge uniform enforcement of the COVID-19 Regulations, and equal treatment before the law for all citizens, political parties, and stakeholders during this period.
- We urge political parties and other stakeholders to be alive to the challenging COVID-19 context, and to conduct their activities in preparation of the By-Elections, in a manner that does note plunge the country into another potential wave.
- We urge the timeous publishing of a Guidance note from ZEC for guiding the electorate, stakeholders, and candidates to ensure their safe and equal participation in the By-Elections during COVID-19.