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Covid-19 toll: Festive season not as deadly as previous one

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ZIMBABWE has emerged from the festive season in a better position compared to last year when there was a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases during the Christmas and New Year holidays although current infections and deaths remain a concern to heath authorities.

MARY MUNDEYA

On Christmas Day in 2020, Zimbabwe recorded 94 new cases and two deaths, bringing the cumulative death toll to 341.

However, a month later, figures had spiralled out of control. Zimbabwe on 25 January 2021 recorded 326 new infections and 70 deaths, bringing the cumulative death toll to 1 075.

Cases continued to rise after that. In terms of total infections, Zimbabwe had cumulative infections of 12 880 on Christmas Day in 2020 but the figure had more than doubled to 31 646 by 25 January.

Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 case in March 2020, but cases dramatically rose in 2021, claiming the lives of thousands of Zimbabweans, among them high-profile persons, including cabinet ministers Sibusiso Busi Moyo and Joel Biggie Matiza.

Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri succumbed to Covid-19 in July 2020. There were fears that Covid-19 cases would spiral out of control yet again, stretching the country’s health facilities after the discovery of the Omicron variant in November last year.

Scientists say the variant, discovered by a Zimbabwean scientist based in Botswana, is more infections and deadlier than other Covid-19 variants, but so far both infections and deaths have remained under control.

 As of 12 January 2022, Zimbabwe recorded 668 new cases and 14 deaths, bringing the cumulative death toll to 5 215.

 Although there has been a recent increase in Covid-19 deaths, with the highest daily figure of 28 fatalities being recorded on 7 January, the figures are not as high as the January 2021 numbers.

Chief coordinator of the Covid-19 taskforce Dr Agnes Mahomva is on record as urging the nation not to panic.

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