COVID-19 kills over 200,000 in Africa as cases near 8m

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Angela Onwuzoo

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday said over 200,000 people have died of COVID-19 on the African continent since the outbreak of the viral infection.

According to the Africa CDC, more than 7.9m cases of COVID-19 have been recorded on the continent so far with over 7m recoveries.

The agency disclosed this in its latest update, noting that the continent has now recorded 7,926,999 cases; 200,045 fatalities.

The African Union health agency also stated that 7,130,039 recoveries had been recorded despite the increase in fatalities.

In the Africa CDC’s latest report, the Central African region has recorded

222,014 cases; 3,219 deaths and 190,886 recoveries while Cameroon has the highest figures with 84,210 cases; 1,357 deathsAfrica; 81,326 and recoveries.

East Africa, according to the report, recorded 925,799 cases; 19,093 deaths and 793,108 recoveries with Ethiopia leading the region with 316,174 cases; 4,785 deaths and 284,895 recoveries.

In Northern Africa, there are now 2,402,702 cases; 64,384 deaths and 2,108,032 recoveries while Morocco has the highest figures with 886,008 cases; 13,145 deaths and 828,148 recoveries.

According to the report, Southern Africa has now recorded 3,761,071 cases; 104,387 deaths and 3,471,448 recoveries as South Africa is still the leading country on the continent with 2,824,063 cases; 83,617 deaths and 2,599,667 recoveries.

The Africa CDC report shows that Nigeria has the highest figures in the West African region with 195,890 cases; 2,556 deaths and 184,882 recoveries out of 615,413 cases; 8,962 deaths and 566,565 recoveries recorded.

The World Health Organisation says the African continent has the lowest vaccination coverage at two percentage, noting that this is unacceptable.

According to WHO, the continent must strengthen its surveillance systems, bolster treatment capacities, step up the supply of crucial medicines and swiftly vaccinate those most in need.

African health ministers met recently to take stock of the continent’s fight against COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to stretch health systems to breaking point in some countries.

The ministers assessed immediate actions needed to curb Africa’s third wave, which saw COVID-19 cases in Africa surpass 7 million, reach a record weekly peak of over 250 000 in early July and drive up deaths to a record weekly peak of over 6400 in early August.

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