COVID-19 kills over 150,000 in Africa as cases hit 5.8m

Angela Onwuzoo

Over 150,000 people have died of COVID-19 on the African continent since the outbreak of the viral infection, says the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Africa CDC says more than 5.8m cases have been recorded on the continent so far with over 5.1m recoveries.

The agency disclosed this in its latest update on Saturday, noting that the continent has now recorded 5,873,990 cases and 150,517 fatalities.

The African Union health agency stated that 5,117,334 recoveries had been recorded despite the increase in fatalities.

In the Africa CDC’s latest report, the Central African region has recorded 195,008 cases; 3,068 deaths, and 172,029 recoveries while Cameroon has the highest figures with 80,858 cases; 1,324 deaths and 78,980 recoveries.

East Africa, according to the report, recorded 744,036 cases; 15,670 deaths and 658,915 recoveries with Ethiopia leading the region with 276,871 cases; 4,342 deaths and 261,933 recoveries.

In Northern Africa, there are now 1,672,410 cases; 49,351 deaths and 1,421,050 recoveries while Morocco has the highest figures with 539,839 cases; 9,351 deaths and 523,128 recoveries.

According to the report, Southern Africa has now recorded 2,769,075 cases; 75,908 deaths and 2,394,850 recoveries as South Africa is still the leading country on the continent with 2,157,687 cases; 63,873 deaths and 1,884,170 recoveries.

The Africa CDC report shows that Nigeria has the highest figures in the West African region with 168,442 cases; 2,122 deaths and 164,423 recoveries out of 493,461 cases; 6,520 deaths and 470,490 recoveries recorded.

The World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti on Thursday said COVID-19 cases had risen for seven consecutive weeks since the onset of the third wave on May 3rd, 2021.

According to her, during the week ending 4 July, more than 251 000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on the continent, amounting to a 20 per cent increase over the previous week and a 12 per cent jump from the January peak.

In her latest statement on the WHOAFRO website, Moeti said, “Sixteen African countries are now in resurgence, with Malawi and Senegal added this week. The Delta variant has been detected in 10 of these countries.

“Africa has just marked the continent’s most dire pandemic week ever. But the worst is yet to come as the fast-moving third wave continues to gain speed and new ground.

“The end to this precipitous rise is still weeks away. Cases are doubling now every 18 days, compared with every 21 days only a week ago. 

“We can still break the chain of transmission by testing, isolating contacts and cases and following key public health measures,” she said.

She expressed concern that the current upsurge comes while vaccination rates remain low in Africa.

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