Growing concern as Covid-19 cases in Africa surge

Africa has registered over 5 million (5,108,890 ) Covid-19 cases accounting for 2.9pc of the cases reported globally.

South Africa has reported the highest number of deaths caused by Covid-19 at 1,774,312, accounting for 35pc of all cases reported in Africa.

However, 4.5 million people have recovered so far from the virus representing 89pc of the total cases reported in Africa.

According to a statement by African Union, the total deaths reported are 136,030, resulting in a cumulative case fatality rate (CFR), of 2.7pc.

The following five countries account for 62pc of all cases reported in Africa.

South Africa: 35pc of total cases (1,774,312)
Morocco: 10pc of total cases (524,975)
Tunisia: 7pc of total cases (374,312)
Egypt: 5pc of total cases (275,010)
Ethiopia: 5pc of total cases (274,601)

“21 countries are reporting a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) that is higher than the global average of 2.2pc.” Read the statement.

“55pc of Member States (30 countries) are now reporting the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, originally reported in the UK,” read the statement.

Adding that: “Since the last briefing by AU, two additional Member States Djibouti and Somalia are now reporting this variant.”

Similarly, 29 countries are now reporting the Beta (B.1.351) variant, originally reported in South Africa with Djibouti also reporting this variant.

There are 13 countries which are now reporting the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, originally reported in India including Malawi.

A total of 2,359 new deaths were reported in Africa compared to 1,977 from the previous week, the number represents a 19% increase in new deaths from the previous week.

There has been an overall 22pc average increase in new cases reported in Africa each week with an overall 7pc average decrease in new deaths reported in the continent each week.

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that COVID-19 cases rose to over 116 500 in the week ending on 13 June, up from the previous week’s nearly 91000 cases, following one month of progressively rising case numbers that pushed the continent over the 5 million case mark.

In 22 African countries—nearly 40pc of Africa’s 54 nations—cases rose by over 20pc in the week ending on 13 June. During the same week, deaths rose by nearly 15pc to over 2200 in 36 countries.

New cases recorded weekly in Africa have now exceeded half of the second wave peak of more than 224 000 weekly cases in early January 2021.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and Uganda have reported their highest number of new weekly cases since the pandemic began.

“Africa is in the midst of a full-blown third wave. The sobering trajectory of surging cases should rouse everyone into urgent action. We’ve seen in India and elsewhere just how quickly COVID-19 can rebound and overwhelm health systems. So public health measures must be scaled up fast to find, test, isolate and care for patients and to quickly trace their contacts,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Tests

To date, over 50 million Covid-19 tests (50,560,523), have been conducted in African Union Member States since the pandemic started.

Last week, on Wednesday and Thursday (09th & 10th June), Africa CDC trained over 600 (637) healthcare workers in 40 AU Member States on “IPC considerations for managing endemic disease outbreak” and on the “design of health facilities for droplet and air-borne diseases”.

This week Africa CDC is training 30 Cameroonian clinicians on clinical care of COVID- 19 patients. The training is currently going on till Friday.

Vaccine

Last week, the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC announced the launch of the USD 1.3 billion Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative that will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people and enable the delivery of safe and efficacious vaccinations to millions more across the continent.

As of June 14th, 59.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been procured by 51 Member States.

Total vaccine doses administered are 42.1 million which corresponds to 70% of the total supply available in Africa.

0.79% of the population has been fully vaccinated on the continent, which is an increase of 31% compared to the previous week.

  

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