Infection, vaccination rates keep falling

Source: Infection, vaccination rates keep falling | The Herald

Infection, vaccination rates keep falling

Herald Reporter

The small bulge in Covid-19 infections generated at a dozen or so boarding schools at the beginning of the term is now over, and daily infection rates have sunk to levels not seen since before the middle of June, with daily death rates now averaging levels last seen in May.

Last week, there were 668 recorded new infections, way below half the 1 581 seen the previous week and even below the levels seen in the second week of last month before the boarding school outbreaks.

The average number of daily deaths is now below two, a level that corresponds to what was seen after the end of the second wave and before the start of the third wave.

While the school outbreaks produced no serious cases, let alone any deaths, the death rates at the end of the third wave had proved a bit sticky, but finally started falling fast over the last two weeks with just 11 deaths from Covid-19 recorded last week.

The continued recession of the third wave has, regrettably, also triggered a continuing decrease in vaccination rates, with just 163 318 doses administered last week, with only 62 840 being first doses to those entering the vaccination programme, although just over 100 000 Zimbabweans received their second dose.

The previous week 190 328 doses were given and even that figure was the result of continuous falling rates over the previous five weeks since 517 533 doses were given in the third week of August, more than three times the rate we saw last week.

By Saturday 3 168 851 Zimbabweans had received at least one dose, 21,13 percent of the estimated population of 15 million.

Of these, 2 402 845 had received both doses, 16,02 percent of the total population and around 24 percent of the targeted 10 million considered the lowest number that could give herd immunity.

By Saturday, Zimbabwe had given out 5 571 696 doses, having notched up 5,5 million on Thursday.

The continuing fall in weekly vaccination totals has nothing to do with supplies, since more than 12 million doses have now been delivered, and the Ministry of Health and Child Care has a distribution system that can handle more than 500 000 doses a week.

The statistics show a fairly close alignment between vaccination rates and daily infection rates, vaccinations rising during a wave and falling as the wave recedes.

Among what amount to incentives to get fully vaccinated, although the measures are solely designed to reduce potential infection rates, the Government has been granting the fully vaccinated something close to a normal life.

Not only does the Government require all civil servants to be vaccinated, but last week allowed bars and night clubs to open, but only for the fully vaccinated.

This means that all businesses are now open to serve the fully vaccinated. However, the entire leisure industry can only accept the fully vaccinated.

If you are fully vaccinated you can play sport, eat in restaurants and coffee shops, visit cinemas and theatres, go to the gym or a health studio, and now drink in a bar or enjoy a visit to a night club.

If you are not fully vaccinated your leisure activities are limited to sitting at home as you are barred from all the places the fully vaccinated can go to.