Appreciating that Government has publicized quarantine establishments in Mount Hampden and Ruwa, for homeless children and families in Harare;
Recognizing efforts by Government in partnership with Higher Life Foundation, in providing a platform to support learners to continue to study at home;
Further recognising efforts being made by other stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19, particularly the facilitation for use of the former Beitbridge Hotel building as a quarantine centre for those entering and leaving the country through the Beitbridge border post;
CRITICAL EMERGING ISSUES
We have noted the following critical emerging issues that require redress:
1. Inadequate information and statistics on tested cases
• Concerned that the general public is not being furnished timeously with statistics and information on COVID-19, by the Ministry of Health and Child-Care
• Deeply concerned that the number of individuals tested for COVID-19 remains low, sitting at 274 as at 31 March 2020,
• Understanding that the Lockdown alone, is not the universal solution to COVID-19, but must be supported with additional measures such as vigorous testing, and early case detection, we urge the Government to expedite decentralization of COVID-19 testing, to other provinces and districts through-out the country.
2. Non-observance of social distancing in some areas
• Recognising that many reports indicate non-observance of social distancing in certain communities, such as Seke, Nyamhunga Kariba and Nketa,
• Aware that such actions will lead to a wider community spread and transmission, it is critical that enforcement officers ensure that citizens strictly comply with the COVID-19 law.
Following under, are the outstanding issues that still require to be addressed by Government and the COVD-19 IMT Taskforce:
1. Cascading shelter facilities for the homeless
Appreciating that Government, through the Department of Social Welfare, has publicized quarantine arrangements in Mount Hampden and Ruwa for homeless children and families in Harare, a significant section of our vulnerable population in other towns and districts remain exposed. It is therefore critical that Government expedite efforts to cater for all vulnerable families throughout the 10 provinces in Zimbabwe.
• Recognising that many reports continue to indicate challenges faced by women at water sites and communal boreholes, particularly in Norton and Zengeza areas, we continue to call upon COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial Taskforce to urgently and equitably announce the practical steps that Government is taking to provide bulk clean safe water to communities facing extraordinary lack of water and sanitation services. The measures can include the following:
Deployment of police officers at Communal Water Points urgently to supervise the water point, to reduce gender-based violence and also enforce social distancing at these points.
Deployment of Police at bulk water deliveries points to ensure social distance at water points
Expedite decongesting water points initiative to ensure manning of more water points to improve access to water
3. Health Service
• Disturbed by the ever-growing reports from healthcare workers who remain deeply concerned of their ability to access Personal Protective equipment and call upon Government to rapidly upscale the devolved provision of Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers.
• It is imperative for Government to urgently respond to this by availing the recommended equipment for the safety of frontline workers and first responders.
• Noting that 3 days into the Lockdown, mechanisms to sustain and continue existing food grant and distribution have not yet been activated and implemented;
• Recognizing that this significantly threatens the abilities of citizens to cooperate with Government when they are faced with real issues of hunger systems;
• The COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial task force is urged to expedite the facilitation of food provision for vulnerable groups and families. To further ensure non-politicization of the food aid.