Covid-19 a year later: The puzzle of Africa’s low cases

Africa was predicted to suffer the worst effects from the pandemic owing to its social economic cultural dynamics.

However, one year after the virus was first reported on the continent its resilience is a subject of scientific interest with death rates remaining low.

Health experts are however warning the emergence of new variations of coronavirus could present a new challenge.

As at Friday, the Africa CDC was reporting the total number of covid 19 cases in the continent since the advent of the first case stood at 4,005,204, 3.5 others had recovered while 107,001, people had died.

Egypt was the first country to confirm the first case of covid 19 on African soil on the 14th of February last year.

Three months later the viral disease had swept the continent. However, the infection and mortality rates were not as adverse as other continents leading to experts having different theories as to why this was the case.

Despite the low numbers, the disease has adverse effects on the region`s economy.

The situation worsened after at least 40 countries reported a second wave and new variants of the disease.

Most affected

The fatality rate during the second wave grew as well. In 55 countries monitored, Africa CDC reported that 20 among them reported fatality rates above the current global of 2.2%.

The most affected countries in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases are South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, the agency noted.

South Africa has lost 51,110 lives to the disease, the most among African countries, followed by Egypt, at 11,169 and Morocco, at 8,712, according to the Africa CDC.

South Africa which accounts for 38% of infections at 1,524,174, Morrocco at 12% translating to 487, 286, Tunisia 6% at 239,368, Egypt 5% at 188,361 and Ethiopia at 4% with 169,878 cases reported.

Burundi is the least affected country with only three deaths and 2,369 confirmed cases.

Eritrea and Mauritius follow at seven deaths, 2,988 cases and 10 death, 641 confirmed cases respectively.

So far, Kenya has recorded over 111,000 cases and over 1,800 deaths with recoveries standing at 87,994.

The arrival of the vaccines in the continent was a welcome reprieve but experts warn it is not the silver bullet.

The experts further say continuous humanitarian aid and communication is key in keeping the masses informed on the dangers and mitigation measures to deal with the pandemic.


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