While Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall sharply, the death rates are rising with 27 new deaths reported yesterday, and even when the four late reports from Harare are taken into account, the 23 deaths are the highest since August 24 during the third wave.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care reported 1 940 yesterday, less than a third of the worst day in the present wave of infection fuelled by Omicron variant, and while this was higher than Wednesday, a public holiday, when a lot of routine testing is not done.
The number was well below the 2 689 seen on Tuesday, the last full business day. The rolling seven-day average, which removes the odd daily spikes and dips and maps the trend lines, has been falling steadily and consistently since peaking on December 14 at 4 580 and yesterday fell below half the peak level at 2 149 after nine continuous days of falling.
The rolling average for deaths continues to rise, reaching 12 yesterday, but is likely to peak soon and then start falling. Death rates tend to run about a fortnight behind infection rates as it takes one to three weeks for someone to develop severe symptoms of Covid-19.
Yesterday the number of active cases fell again to 45 180 after falling steadily for five days from the peak of 51 136 on Friday last week as more people recover.
Of these on Wednesday just 401 were in hospital with four in intensive care and 41 treated as severe. The rest have no symptoms or only mild to moderate symptoms but are in hospital because they need treatment for something else or are in a group that doctors feel need constant monitoring because of other conditions.
The vaccination rate crawled up and finally reached 33 percent of all Zimbabweans aged 16 and over now having both jabs, and 43,5 of this age group with at least one.
Bulawayo is still the only province where more than a half of the 16s and over have both jabs, 50,4 percent with 57, 9 percent with one jab.
Matabeleland North is in second place with 45.9 percent with both, the only other province above 40 percent, and 58,8 percent with one jab.
Manicaland has finally reached the point where more than half the 16s and over have one jab, 50,9 percent, but only 38,9 percent have both.