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Day 37 – Proper Epidemiological Comparison Emerging from Statistics


The good news at a national level is epidemiological news. Dr Zouberr Joomye, who is for some reason (maybe that he is a transfiz and then not elected in the last elections), the Government spokesperson at the Coronavirus press briefings announced the key figures we in LALIT were waiting for i.e. the number of deaths, month by month, for 2019 and 2020. This was in reply to a question from the Press.

 The figures suggest no sign of out-of-control, invisible spread of Covid in the population.

 This is important news in itself, and also because of Navin Ramgoolam’s irresponsible statements. And also because some of the media, as well as droves on the internet, have persisted in spreading a kind of low-key fear that there is a huge “iceberg” of cases of Covid-19 under the tip of published Government statistics and that there are even alleged hidden deaths. These insinuations spread like wild-fire amongst people who do not use the free, universal hospital services and their ignorance of this excellent service probably makes them more liable to believe far-fetched things. To make these insinuations and rumours more pernicious, there are, in fact, real dangers of not knowing how many cases there are because of the high number of people without Covid-19 symptoms who nevertheless spread the disease. The inability to test whole cross-sections of people – this is true in almost all countries except South Korea and Germany – has added to the power of the insinuations. And, then again, this is not a Government that inspires generalized confidence. We, in LALIT, for example, charge the Government with bowing down, like minions, to the sugar cane bosses and other big land owners.

 But, now the figures are out. Study these figures for a minute:


Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr     

983    826     930      845


Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr (to 16th)

915     826     906     446

 More specifically, the Government has given figures for deaths from respiratory illness: 


Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr     

137    112     145      104


Jan     Feb     Mar     Apr (to 16th)

 96     110     129       56

 The slightly lesser figures for 2020 are not necessarily strange: The lockdown will have decreased the spread of flu and cold viruses, as well – that can have a toll on people with underlying health problems – and there will have been fewer road accidents and work injuries.

 Take the above table together with three sets of figures for coronavirus figures day-by-day to date for total positive cases (note the curve flattened completely, so far), the new cases by day (a bit sporadic but tending downwards, and we can expect new outbreaks here and there for a long time), and the total active cases (in Mauritius this differs from other countries because the State admits all positive cases into hospital or quasi hospital institutions), which has decreased to manageable proportions.

 To see the tables, go to the version in our Documents Section, or on our Facebook page. Or you can read the raw data pasted at the end of this article, in vertical form. 

 And, after studying the data, this is what we can, for the moment, conclude:

 1. The lockdown (including the one week of total curfew) was just in time, and has thus worked to flatten and bend down the various curves, signifying a degree of actual containment of the spread of the virus. This is a credit to people of Mauritius understanding the importance of this, despite the Government not explaining very clearly, and despite the Government being one that is tolerated but not particularly popular (remember although they won 2/3 of seats in the National Assembly in the November elections, they did not muster the well-nigh compulsory celebratory public meeting!)

2. The people of Mauritius have managed the social distancing rules, have worn masks when they have gone out, have washed their hands a lot and avoided touching their faces. The universal hand-shaking every day has totally disappeared. As has cheek-kissing. Many people wear gloves in public. Coughs and sneezes are aimed, even when people are wearing masks, I notice, into the bend of their elbows. It has become normal to have sanitizer pumped into your hands or gloves twice before you get into a supermarket and to have your temperature taken at the lintel of the supermarket – of all places. 

3. The quarantine of people, in particular, the Government putting them up in empty hotels, if they have been in any way exposed to the virus (coming from abroad, working in hospitals) was important, too, in severely containing the spread.

4. The unusual measure of the hospitalization of all Covid 19 positive people, even those who are asymptomatic, has tightened up containment even more.

5. Perhaps key to the relative success (so far) has been the fantastic “trace-and-test” teams in Mauritius – who have then permitted the complete isolation in hospitals of all who test positive, i.e. even people who are without any symptoms.

6. Rodrigues and Agalega have been completely spared the virus by the timely lockdown.

 There is other good news on the national front. In response to an outcry from unions, us in LALIT, consumer groups and others, at the exploitative pricing of essential goods, there is now a much-expanded list of price-controlled goods. Here is a link where you can access it:

 On the Ragoo Lane front, we have a beautiful air potato (pom-deler) on the front fencing, ready for harvest. It is truly the most remarkable staple food crop of all. It is completely autogestionary. Like so many vegetables, it seems to come from South America. The only problem with it is that it can be invasive, so plant it in a barrel to begin with, until you know its ways.


Lindsey Collen

for LALIT, a personal view.  

 Date       Positive Cases

18-Mar             3

19-Mar             7

20-Mar           12

21-Mar           14

22-Mar           28

23-Mar           36

24-Mar           42

25-Mar           48

26-Mar           81

27-Mar           94

28-Mar         102

29-Mar         107

30-Mar         128

31-Mar         143

01-Apr         161

02-Apr         169

03-Apr         186

04-Apr         196

05-Apr         227

06-Apr         244

07-Apr         268

08-Apr         273

09-Apr         314

10-Apr         318

11-Apr         319

12-Apr         328

13-Apr         324

14-Apr         324

15-Apr         324

16-Apr         324

17-Apr         324

18-Apr         325

19-Apr         328

20-Apr         328

21-Apr         328

22-Apr         329

23-Apr         331

24-Apr         331

25-Apr         331


Date    New Cases

18-Mar     3

19-Mar                 4

20-Mar     5 

21-Mar     2

22-Mar   14

23-Mar     8

24-Mar     6

25-Mar     6

26-Mar    33

27-Mar                13

28-Mar                  8

29-Mar                  5

30-Mar                21

31-Mar                  5

01-Apr     18

02-Apr       8

03-Apr     17

04-Apr     10

05-Apr     31

06-Apr     17

07-Apr     24

08-Apr       5

09-Apr     41

10-Apr       4

11-Apr       1

12-Apr       5

13-Apr       0

14-Apr       0

15-Apr       0

16-Apr       0

17-Apr       0

18-Apr       1

19-Apr       3

20-Apr       0

21-Apr       0

22-Apr       1

23-Apr       2

24-Apr       0

25-Apr       0


Date    Active Cases

18-Mar                  3

19-Mar                  7

20-Mar                  12

21-Mar                  13

22-Mar                  26

23-Mar                  34

24-Mar                  40

25-Mar                  46

26-Mar                  79

27-Mar                  92

28-Mar                  100

29-Mar                  105

30-Mar                  125

31-Mar                  138

01-Apr       155

02-Apr       162

03-Apr       179

04-Apr       189

05-Apr       220

06-Apr       233

07-Apr       253

08-Apr       247

09-Apr       284

10-Apr       286

11-Apr       282

12-Apr       277

13-Apr       264

14-Apr       261

15-Apr       247

16-Apr       231

17-Apr       204

18-Apr       133

19-Apr       108

20-Apr         92

21-Apr         73

22-Apr         56

23-Apr         53

24-Apr         34

25-Apr         24