In March 2021, the country recorded a total of 864 new cases compared to 2,723 in February and 19,646 in January 2021. A total of 60 deaths were reported in March compared to 241 in February and 833 in January 2021.
The number of confirmed cumulative cases increased by 2% from 35,994 cases including 1,458 deaths by 28 February to 36,858 cases including 1,521 deaths by 31 March 2021. This figure further increased to 36,984 including 1,531 deaths by 08 April 2021.
The country received additional vaccines through purchases and donations from China, Russia and India, intensifying the ongoing inoculation programme. By 11 April 2021, about 194,594 people had received the first dose of the vaccine and 28,989 had received the second dose.
Annual inflation continued a downward trend for the eighth consecutive month, with annual inflation pegged at 241%, while food inflation estimates are yet to be shared. The Consumer Price Index increased by 2.26% in March compared to February 2021.
The findings of the 2021 National First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment showed that the total area planted increased by 23% from 2.8 million hectares in the 2019/20 season to 3.5 million hectares in the 2020/21 season.
The national beef herd was reported to have increased by 0.64% from 5.4 million in 2019 to 5.6 million in 2020.
An increase in production of about 2.7% was reported for both goats and sheep Supply of maize grain in formal markets slightly improved although it remains critical, estimated to be available in 5% of monitored markets up from from 3% in February. Similarly maize meal availability increased to an average of 77% monitored markets from 69% reported in February.
Prices of basic food commodities in bond notes increased by an average of 3% when compared to February 2021, i.e. maize grain (4%), maize meal (4%), sugar beans (2%) and vegetable oil (5%).
In USD terms, prices marginally increased by an average of 2%, with highest price increases reported for maize grain (5%) and vegetable oil (3%) while that of maize meal and sugar beans remained stable.