Sunday, June 23, 2024

Botswana winning the Covid-19 battle, then why are people dying?

Although Botswana is doing better that all countries in the region in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, more Batswana are dying from the virus today that seven months ago, and the country is performing poorly against the then baseline countries.

Seven months ago, Botswana had the third lowest Covid-19 death rate in the world. The 30th November 2020   report by the Johns Hopkins resource Centre report indicated that Botswana had a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 0.3%, the third lowest in the world after Singapore at 0.05% and Qatar at 0.2%. Botswana shared the third position with the United Arab Emirates which also has a CFR of 0.3%

The World Health Organisation (WHO) uses among other indicators, the CFR which is the proportion of individuals diagnosed with a disease who die from that disease and is therefore a measure of severity among detected cases. The CFR is the number of deaths from the disease divided by the number of confirmed cases and multiplied by 100.

Seven months later, Singapore, Qatar and United Arab Emirates have been able to keep their people alive while the Botswana Covid-19 per capita death rate is higher than that of India.

As at July 2nd the Singapore CFTR had not breached the 1 percent mark and was at 0.1%, Qatar was at 0.3% a slight increase from 0.2% while United Arab Emirates had contained its CFR at 0.3%. Botswana on the other hand saw its case fatality rate increase a hundredfold to 1.6% which is higher than that of India which now stands at 1.3%. This means more people infected with the virus are dying in Botswana than in India.

Botswana has also fallen behind regional countries like Zambia and Mozambique in keeping its citizen who are infected with Covid-19 alive. Mozambique currently has a CFR of 1.1 while Zambia is at 1.4.

Curiously, both Zambia and Mozambique are battling infection spikes and have the worst Covid-19 vaccine programmes in the region.  Zambia is reporting 2, 458 new infections on average each day, 88% of the peak – the highest daily average reported on June 27. So far Zambia has administered 156,584 doses of COVID vaccines , assuming every person needs two doses, that is enough to vaccinate 0.4% of the population.

During the last week reported, Zambia averaged about 544 doses administered each day. At that rate it will take a further 6,567 days to administer enough doses for another 10 percent of the population.

Mozambique is also witnessing an increase in Covid-19 infections. With 555 new infections reported on average each day. That is 58% of the peak – the highest daily average reported on February 1.

Mozambique has administered at least 438,382 doses of Covid vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses. That’s enough to have vaccinated 0.7 % of the country’s population. These figures compare badly with those of Botswana.

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