Zimbabwean Covid deaths rise, infections start falling




A preacher is disinfected by a health worker, during a burial of a person who died from COVID-19, in Harare, Friday, Jan, 15, 2021. Zimbabwe, battling a spike in new COVID-19 cases, has banned families from transporting their dead relatives between cities, as part of new measures to stop traditional funeral rites that are believed to be increasing the spread of the disease. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)/XTM105/21016607029321//2101161810

HARARE – While Covid-19 infection rates have started inching down, the death rate is rising with 14 deaths on Wednesday and 12 reported yesterday, the first time double figures have been seen for daily deaths since late September.

On the other hand the vaccination programme hit three milestones this week.

On Wednesday, the number of Zimbabweans with both jabs rose above three million and was 3 035 192 by the end of yesterday and the number with at least their first jab rose over four million yesterday to end the day on 4 023 013. The 7 millionth dose was given out on Wednesday and by yesterday 7 058 025 doses had been administered.

The infection rate in the present spurt has been falling slowly since the number of new cases in one day peaked at 6 181 on Friday last week.

During this week, after the lower figures traditionally seen at weekends when fewer are routinely tested, it has been falling from 5 678 on Tuesday to 4 367 on Wednesday and 4 247 yesterday.

The seven-day rolling average, which smooths out peaks and dips and measures the trend, was rising inexorably from late November peaking at 4 580 on Tuesday, but for the last two days has shown its first declines in the present spike, reaching 4 355 yesterday.

But the number of Zimbabweans considered active cases was 49 396 yesterday, 26,1 percent of all 186 304 cases seen since the early last year when Zimbabwe’s first case was diagnosed.

Hospital cases, after a jump at the beginning of the week, are now inching up slowly to 394 by Wednesday, the latest day for statistics since hospitalisation are given a day later than other figures.

While only three of these patients were in intensive care, 42 were classified as severe.

The 26 deaths in the last two days are around 40 percent of the 65 deaths from Covid-19 seen so far this month.

Movements in daily deaths always lag movements in new daily cases, usually by a little under two weeks. It takes time for an infection to build up in a human to dangerous levels.

So when there is a spike in new infections, the spike in new deaths will be a week or two later, and the reverse is also true, that a fall in daily new cases will only be seen as a fall in daily deaths up to a fortnight later. – Herald