The death knock is getting louder; a knock too hard to ignore. Doors ajar, death has ruthlessly entered almost every homestead in a deadly period now spanning nearly 16 months.
Despite a rise in infections, the country recorded 42 deaths in 276 days, which was up to the end of December 2020. But there was a rapid acceleration in the death rate after the festive season, with the country recording its then, highest monthly tally of 106 in January. February proved even more deadly with 184 lives lost as the country battled to contain a second wave.
At the start of the year, Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Edwin Dikoloti announced new restrictions, including a ban on liquor sales and introduced a night time curfew. But the upward trajectory spilt into March as 259 people died due to COVID-19. There was a slight reprieve in April as recorded deaths fell to 133, with the second wave starting to die down. The figures rose marginally to 142 in May with the death toll curve hitting a plateau.
But the memories of the deadly period between January and March were revived when the country saw the death toll breach the 1,000 mark in June. The figures hit an all-time high of 292 last month, as the country entered a devastating third wave. Thus far 217 lives have been lost in July, with the death toll particularly horrific of late. The latest statistics released by the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force last Thursday indicating 47 people had died in three days between July 19 and 22.
The new trend indicates that every hour, nearly two people (1.56) succumb to COVID-19. Last week’s update saw the average of people dying every day due to COVID-19 at nearly 16. Overall, since the first death was recorded last year March, nearly three people die every day from the virus. In nearly 10 months, between March 2020 and December 2020, 42 people had died, but in just 203 days this year (up to July 22), 1,333 lives have been lost.