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COVID-19 spike in Chobe

NEGATIVE REPORT: Positive cases soar in Chobe

*Positive cases double in June

*Up from 2, 325 to 4, 676 in 30 days

The tourism industry’s future in Chobe remains in the balance following an astronomical recent rise in Covid cases.

At the start of June, the district had recorded a total of 2, 325 positive cases in 15 months.

30 days later, that figure had more than doubled to 4, 676 as a further 2, 351 people tested positive last month.

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Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday, Chobe District Health Management Team (DHMT) Coordinator, Rose Munyere was at a loss to explain the sudden increase.

“Usually when there’s this dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases, one can point at a certain big event attended by many people, but we haven’t had such in Chobe,” she admitted, adding that April and May saw 46 and 91 positive cases respectively.

Munyere did, however, mention that the surge could have been caused by the lifestyles led by the people of Chobe.

“I think this is a result of our everyday interactions. We meet as a people and spread the virus, as we see what is currently happening in our schools,” she said.

According to Munyere, as of Wednesday, Chobe had recorded 13 Covid-19 related fatalities since the outbreak of the virus back in March last year. Currently, there are 1, 816 people isolating in the region.

With a population estimated around 30, 000 by Statistics Botswana, Chobe District is made up of nine villages, which are: Kasane, Kachikau, Kazungula, Kavimba, Lesoma, Mabele/Muchinje, Parakarungu, Pandamatenga and Satau.

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According to statistics provided by DHMT, 1, 840 Chobe residents have been vaccinated by both AstraZeneca and Sinovac, which amounts to a little over six percent of the region’s populace. (In total, Botswana has so far administered 100, 125 full vaccinations).

Munyere further pointed out they’ve also experienced a surge in positive cases in all five borders in the district. She said this pattern shows that the virus is also rampant in the neighbour countries.

“We do tests when they leave the country, but we’ve realised that a number of them test positive on their return,” Munyere revealed, adding they’ve registered high numbers at the Botswana/Zambian border in particular.

“In April and May we recorded three and 17 border cases, which jumped to 185 in June,” she disclosed.

The DHMT Coordinator urged Chobe residents to adhere to all Covid-19 protocols to help in the fight against the deadly scourge.

COVID CASES IN CHOBE

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April 46

May 91

June 2, 351

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