Although Botswana has suffered a spike in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, on the positive side, the country has experienced a sharp decline in its Case Fatality Rate (CFR).
The CFR is an index used to measure the mortality risk of COVID-19 – the likelihood that someone who catches the disease will die from it. The latest report by the Johns Hopkins Resource Centre, updated on 30th November 2020 indicates that although more people are getting infected, the infection is not as lethal as previously reported. Botswana’s COVID-19 daily infection rate has doubled in two months; however, the CFR has dropped by 50% during the same period.
Botswana’s daily recorded cases hovered just above a hundred as recently as October 2020, at the time the country’s CFR stood at 0.6%. While the latest statistics paint a worrying trend in the daily infection rate, indicating a 100% increase over just a couple of weeks, the sharp decline’s the country’s CFR to 0.3% is something of a saving grace.
This means Botswana currently has the third-lowest COVID-19 CFR in the world after Singapore at 0.05% and Qatar at 0.2%. Botswana is in joint third position with the United Arab Emirates. The World Health Organisation (WHO) uses the CFR – the proportion of individuals diagnosed with a disease who die from that disease and is, therefore, a measure of severity among detected cases- among other indicators. The CFR is the number of deaths from the disease divided by the number of confirmed cases and multiplied by 100.