Between March and July, sales of caskets fell by about half, a counter-intuitive trend compared with what had been projected ever since COVID-19 began to make its rounds across the world.


The projections of health experts and economists on the public health and food security impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have been bleak, especially when it comes to low-income countries such as Ethiopia. The estimates have not been entirely wrong in terms of deaths from the virus, clocking in at 770 in Ethiopia. But the picture of overall fatalities has also come to surprise some, especially funeral service operators.



Between March and July, sales of caskets fell by about half, a counter-intuitive trend compared with what had been projected ever since COVID-19 began to make its rounds across the world.


This is a combination of improved hygiene among the public as a response to COVD-19 campaigns and lower traffic accidents since people became less mobile. Traffic fatalities went down by 12pc over the past six months compared to the same period last year, according to the Addis Abeba Traffic Management Office.


Things are a little complicated though on whether hygiene campaigns did indeed lead to lower mortalities or if the lowered sales of caskets do really mean less numbers of deaths. The Addis Abeba Vital Events Registration & Information Agency recorded a drop of around 40pc in the number of deaths, though it admits that its numbers might not reflect the reality on the ground.

Other indicators do not concur. There has not been anything out of the ordinary, according to the Addis Abeba Mortality Surveillance Programme, which uses different methodologies to assess deaths, including software developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). But the Programme believes that the results from June and July, yet to be tallied, will give a clearer picture.


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Tracking COVID-19



468770

Total cases Reported In Ethiopia


0

New cases Reported In Ethiopia


42742

Active cases Reported In Ethiopia


0

New Deaths Reported In Ethiopia


7463

Total Deaths Reported In Ethiopia


418563

Total Recovered Reported In Ethiopia



87

Critical in Ethiopia


Source: Coronavirus monitor API



PUBLISHED ON Aug 29,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1061]


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