Cabinet received an update on the country‘s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, procurement and roll-out of vaccines as presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable, Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga, as Chairman of the Ministers’ National Committee.

The nation is advised that as at 22 November 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 133 674 with 128 465 recoveries and 4699 deaths. The recovery rate was 96%, with 510 active cases being recorded. The overall national number of new cases decreased slightly during the week under review, with 209 cases recorded compared 251 the previous week. This represents a 17% decrease in the number of reported cases.

Regarding case management, infection, prevention and control, the number of people in need of hospitalization for COVID-19 decreased, with the country’s bed occupancy rate   decreasing from 1.2% the previous week to 0.9% this week.

On the national vaccination programme, as of 22 November 2021, a total of 3 680 636 first doses had been administered, with 2 752 352 people having received their second dose. The Ministry of Health and Child Care is collaborating with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on the vaccination blitz of the 16 to 17 year age group in schools. Cabinet wishes to report that the inclusion of this age group has increased the target population. It is pleasing to note that in actual numbers, the cumulative number of vaccines administered during the reporting week increased compared to last week.

Regarding preparations for the safe administration of 2021 Zimbabwe School Examination Council  (ZIMSEC ) Examinations, the nation is advised that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is currently monitoring and strengthening COVID-19 compliance in preparation for the 2021 ZIMSEC Examinations. The same collaboration between the education and health sectors, which resulted in safe and successful 2020 schools’ examination processes, is expected to deliver the desired outcome.

The nation is also advised that 2021 is the first year that the Zimbabwe School Examination Council (ZIMSEC) is incorporating Continuous Assessment of Learning Area (CALA) marks into the final result for the Grade 7, ’O” and “A” level examinations. In order to ensure that the continuous assessments were done in compliance with COVID-19 regulations and to also ensure that the credibility of the ZIMSEC examination system remains intact, senior management were all out in full force moderating and ensuring that completion of Continuous Assessment of Learning Area Activities (CALA) is done by the end of November, 2021.