The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
A TOTAL of 133 Covid-19 deaths and more than 10 000 Covid-19 infections were recorded in the seven days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve in Zimbabwe, a situation that has prompted a revision of national lockdown regulations in order to prevent the further spread of the virus and possible deaths.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care daily Covid-19 update, the seven-day period from 25 to 31 December 2021 saw 32, being the highest number of deaths reported in one day for that week, while the least deaths, six, were recorded on 26 December 2021.
The week before the holiday period which stretched from 18 to 24 December 2021 saw the country recording 90 deaths.
National Covid-19 Coordinator Dr Agnes Mahomva acknowledged the increase in deaths saying there was a correlation in the increase of infections and possible increase of deaths.
“It’s always possible, there are many possible contributing factors to the increases.
With Omicron (variant) itself which is really spreading like wildfire not just in Zimbabwe but all over the world, we see numbers increasing markedly in all countries reporting it.
So as soon as you see a large number of cases reported, it automatically translates to an increase in numbers of deaths.
So, it is really important to prevent that transmission and people not to be complacent so that we don’t have these numbers continue to grow,” she said.
She said infection numbers need to be kept at bay in order to prevent unnecessary deaths. In terms of vaccinations, Dr Mahomva said more must be done and communities should go out and get vaccinated.
“Numbers were going up just before we closed for the holidays.
We introduced the 15 to 17 age group vaccination and the campaigns in schools were really gathering momentum but we then closed the schools.
So basically, the numbers went down a little but the provinces are working flat out to really bring those numbers up again.
It is really one of those measures that we think can really help us,” she emphasised.
The President on Friday postponed the opening of schools for the first term to a later date owing to the spike in deaths and infections.
Schools were scheduled to reopen on 10 January 2022, but this was later reversed with only those sitting to complete their Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations expected in class.
National lockdown regulations have also been tightened with Level Two being extended by a further two weeks to allow health officials, backed by science, to analyse the patterns of the virus and allow for the situation to stabilise and allow for the review of the lockdown measures.
In his address to the nation on Friday, President Mnangagwa said businesses will operate from 7am to 7pm.
He emphasised the need for citizens to get vaccinated, wear face masks correctly in public spaces, gatherings and in public transport.
Other measures such as hand hygiene and sanitising are also being encouraged. As at 31 December 2021, 1 530 new infections were recorded and were all locally transmitted.