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Day 490 13

WCOZ Situation Report

14 August 2021

503 days of the COVID-19 Lockdown, and as of 13th of August 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care
reported that, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases had increased to 119 508 after 754 new cases all
local cases, were recorded. The highest case tally was recorded in Matebeleland South with 130 cases. We
note the general nature of the hotspot update which did not give hotspot specific data, but, reported on
the general downward trend of new infections due to containment measures.
We note that the Hospitalisation rate as at 15:00hrs on 12 August 2021 was 539 hospitalised cases: 62 New
Admissions, 144 Asymptomatic cases, 268 mild-to-moderate cases, 100 severe cases and 27 cases in
Intensive Care Units. (Wilkins, Providence, Arundel, B5 Leon, West End, St Anne’s and Montague did not
Active cases went down to 19 300. The total number of recoveries went up to 96 135 increasing by 1 210
recoveries. The recovery rate further, marginally goes up to 80% from 79%. A total of 46 728 people
received their 1st doses of vaccine. The cumulative number of the 1st dose vaccinated now stands at 2 013
340.  A total of 47 986 recipients received their second dose bringing the cumulative number of 2nd dose
recipients to 1 179 687. The death toll went up to 4 073 after 26 new deaths were recorded.
We commend the citizens of Zimbabwe for their support and engagement with the government
vaccination program which has now surpassed the “2 million’ mark for the 1st dose of the vaccine. In
particular, we note the rapid progress towards the second million people accessing vaccination as part of
the vaccine blitz. We call for continuation and expansion of current efforts to meet vaccination targets, and
avoid the dangers of a largely unvaccinated population in the face of the potential fourth wave.

Critical Emerging Issues
1. Gender lens National COVID-19 response and recovery
We continue to urge gender equality and women representation in COVID-19 response structures. We
emphasize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been neither gender blind nor gender neutral, and that
women have taken the hardest hit. Therefore, they should be allowed the space to be architects of their
own solutions. We stress that women’s leadership, experiences and perspective are fundamental to the
development of a gender-lens response and recovery. Participation and equal representation of women, as
provided in the Zimbabwe’s policy and legislative framework cannot be dispensed with in the COVID-19
recovery path. Not only is this important for achievement of gender equality and democracy, gender
machineries and women’s organizations work closely with communities and therefore possess
unapparelled knowledge and experience on the challenges, women are facing on a day-to-day basis.
Therefore, they constitute the voice of authority when it comes to the design and implementation of
gender lens recovery strategies. We therefore recommend:

  • As a starting point, more women including women’s rights organisations should form part of the
    steering committees for COVID-19 response Coordination, such as the COVID-19 National
  • The Zimbabwe Gender Commission, to push for accountability to equal gender representation and balance in such key Committees, as envisaged by sections 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
  • Urgent publication of analysed sex and age disaggregated data by Government on the composition of the COVID-19 taskforce teams throughout the country.
  • We continue to call for the inclusion of Gender Advisory Experts at all levels of the National COVID-19 Response Structures.

Outstanding issues
1. Prioritisation and protection of Health Care Workers and women in the Health Sector
We highlight grave concerns for healthcare workers, especially those operating in the public sector, who
are continuing to report for duty are extremely difficult circumstances. Healthcare workers are continuing
to raise their concerns regarding poor workplace conditions which are causing critical frontline workers to
lose confidence in the capacity of their places of work to be safe environments. Furthermore, we amplify
the realities of healthcare workers and their implications on the quality of care being extended to patients
in public hospitals. Healthcare workers continue to experience, amongst other factors, on-going
inconsistencies in accessing adequate PPE which create undue risk and strain on frontline health care
workers who predominantly are women.

We further continue to reiterate the low representation of women in policy-making positions in the
healthcare sector regards to the COVID-19 response architecture. We further raise concerns on staffing
shortages, in non-metropolitan provinces, created though the implications of healthcare workers who
understandably have to go into quarantine and self-isolation after exposure to the virus. These shortages
directly compromise the levels and quality of service provision to the health seeking public in particular
have a direct negative impact on maternal and infant health care which is already under strain.
Underscoring, once more, that ultimately the negative fallout of COVID 19 management in the healthcare
sector has a direct correlation to women and girls’ lives and rights as they constitute the majority of the
health seeking public.

  • We call for prioritisation for the expedited production and distribution of substantive PPE to
    hospital and health care centres across the country.
  • We call for a direct and effective transformation of the healthcare sector especially at provincial
    and district level so as to ensure effective women-leadership and representation which fulfils the
    constitutional standards of equal representation as provided in sections 17, 56, and 80 of the
    Constitution of Zimbabwe.
  • We urge extended support to public laboratories to increase the turn-around time on conducting
    of tests and reporting of the results.
  • We call for the transparency on the funding mechanisms and budget expenditure of the 2020
    National Budget directly at this halfway point of the year.
    We recommend widespread notification of free community testing to communities who are
    hesitant to approach healthcare centres due to concerns of affordability of tests.

This SITREP is developed by and through the collective network of organisational and individual members of the Women’s Coalition of

Zimbabwe who are engaged at community levels to national levels in the COVID19 response in Zimbabwe

Author: wcozadmin2

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