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Covid-19 infections spiral in two weeks

by Staff reporter
26 Jul 2021 at 06:37hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE recorded the highest number of Covid-19 infections and deaths in the last two weeks since the advent of the virus in March last year despite awareness campaigns being rolled out to discourage growing complacency from members of the public.

During the past two weeks 924 deaths were recorded in Zimbabwe whereas the first 900 Covid-19 deaths were recorded over a space of 10 months.

The highest number of deaths recorded in a single day was on June 16 with 102 fatalities. There has been an upward trend in weekly deaths and infections since the beginning of June where 9 deaths and 233 new infections were recorded in the first week of the month.

A steady increase has been recorded since then, culminating to 462 deaths and 14 664 infections in the week ending July 25 (yesterday). Since the beginning of June, 57 043 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in Zimbabwe.

Health experts say almost 90 percent of Covid-19 fatalities are of people who were not vaccinated against the pandemic. According to a research obtained by health authorities, not only do unvaccinated Covid-19 patients make up more than 90 percent of Covid-19 hospital admissions, but also 88,9 percent of people who died from the pandemic in the past few weeks were not vaccinated.

To date over 1 million people have tested for Covid-19 and of those 97 277 were confirmed positive, including 64 628 recoveries and 3 050 deaths. A total of 1 438 890 people has been vaccinated against Covid-19 with continued calls for members to be inoculated.

In an interview, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwriro urged members of the public to get vaccinated as the Government continues to avail more vaccines so that Zimbabwe achieves herd immunity.

The country received an additional 1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine yesterday to boost the current mass vaccination programme being carried out countrywide. He said despite the increase in deaths and new cases, vaccination benefits can only be reaped after weeks when those vaccinated have a boosted immunity against the global pandemic.

"We can only encourage people to go and get vaccinated in their numbers and we can only reap results after a few weeks when people receive their second dose. Those who are dying the most are the ones who are not vaccinated and we encourage every community to ensure their members are vaccinated so that this disease doesn't not kill this high number of our people," he said.

A study conducted by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) reveals that the proportion of people that avoided social gatherings (67 percent) continued to drop since July 2020, when it stood at 91 percent. The second-round survey shows it has shown a significant drop to 58 percent. This decline was seen in both urban and rural areas.

The proportion of respondents wearing masks in public in the third-round survey also declined after remaining largely unchanged over the first two surveys conducted between July and September 2020, with about 88 percent wearing them in urban areas and 75 percent in rural areas.

The proportion of people that washed their hands after being in public followed a similar trend, constituting 85 percent in urban areas and 75 percent in rural areas. Renowned health expert Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the deaths being recorded in the past weeks are due to complacent behaviour showcased by resident's months ago. He said the deaths are set to keep increasing for weeks until they reach a peak which will leave hundreds of families in tears.

Prof Ngwenya said as predicted by experts since last year, there was a daily increase of people being hospitalised due to Covid-19. As of yesterday, there were 879 hospitalised people in Zimbabwe. Active cases stood at 29 599 and the recovery rate was 66 percent.

"The deaths that we are recording are not surprising as we have always warned people about their complacent behaviour. Their behaviour was definitely going to lead to this high number of deaths," said Prof Ngwenya.

"What happens with a virus of this nature is if people are complacent, it spreads rapidly which results in mass hospitalisation which we are recording now. We have not yet reached the peak yet if we are to use international trends and surveillance of this virus."

He said if nothing is done about the wayward behaviour, the country was going to reach a point where the hospitals are full and cannot take any more patients.

Source - chronicle

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