Sunday Mail reporter
THE surge in new Covid-19 cases has put pressure on resources, resulting in delays in contact tracing and recording of newly recovered cases, leading to a sharp decline in the country’s recovery rate.
The Covid-19 recovery rate has plummeted to 59 percent, down from 92 percent during the first wave of the pandemic.
Chief Coordinator of the National Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said surveillance teams were now preoccupied with tracking severely ill patients.
The recent surge in new infections has witnessed the country recording 5 576 new cases during the first week of the year, up from 1 204 during the last week of December.
“Many have expressed concern over the reported low recovery rate in recent daily reports,” said Dr Mahomva.
“At the peak of the first wave in 2020, recovery rates were reported as above 92 percent on average, but by the end of day yesterday (Thursday last week), the nation’s recovery rate was reported as 56,3 percent.
“The recent surge in cases has put a big strain on provincial teams on tracking cases in order to appropriately and timely classify the cases’ clinical status, and due to these large numbers, provinces have tended to prioritise tracking of moderate to severely ill Covid-19 cases as these need urgent medical attention.”
She said delayed tracking of positive cases that asymptomatic or recovering at home have resulted in some recovered cases being included in the national statistics a bit late, which naturally gives a low national recovery rate.
As of Friday, Zimbabwe had 26 109 confirmed cases, including 15 414 recoveries and 666 deaths. In a separate interview, Dr Mahomva said the country was preparing for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Part of what we are doing is to prepare and make sure that we are ready to distribute the vaccine when it comes,” she added.
“There are a lot of issues to consider such as who will receive the vaccine — the demographics and the logistics.”
Zimbabwe will soon take delivery of over three million doses of vaccines worth US$20 million under an African Union-led facility.
Over 270 million jabs will be availed to African countries under the facility.
The vaccines will cover the vaccination of 15 percent of Zimbabwe’s population.
Meanwhile, enforcement of the national lockdown has resulted in 2 936 arrests.
Statistics provided by the police show that 958 people were arrested for alleged failure to wear masks, while 1 569 people were arrested for ‘unnecessary movements’.
Since the onset of the national lockdown on March 30, 2020, a total of 331 012 people have been arrested for violating national lockdown measures. Most of violations were for movement restrictions.