Covid-19 Deaths In Africa Surge More Than 40%
Africa has recorded a 43 per cent week-on-week rise in COVID-19 deaths, as hospital admissions increase rapidly and countries face shortages in oxygen and intensive care beds, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Fatalities increased to 6,273 in the week ending on 11 July 2021 from 4,384 deaths in the previous week.
The global health body noted that Africa is now less than one per cent shy of the weekly peak reached in January when 6,294 deaths were recorded.
Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia accounted for 83 per cent of the new deaths recorded in the past week. The continent’s case fatality rate, which is the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases, currently stands at 2.6 per cent against the global average of 2.2 per cent.
It stated that COVID-19 cases have risen for eight straight weeks, topping 6 million on July 13. Over the past month, Africa recorded an additional 1 million cases. This is the shortest time it’s taken so far to add 1 million cases. Comparatively, it took around three months to move from 4 million to 5 million cases. This COVID-19 surge is the fastest the continent has seen.
The surge is driven by public fatigue with key health measures and an increased spread of variants. To date, the Delta variant, which is currently the most transmissible of all variants, has been detected in 21 African countries, while the Alpha variant is in 35 countries and Beta in 30.
Speaking during a virtual media briefing, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said: “Deaths have climbed steeply for the past five weeks. This is a clear warning sign that hospitals in the most impacted countries are reaching a breaking-point.
“Under-resourced health systems in countries are facing dire shortages of the health workers, supplies, equipment and infrastructure needed to provide care to severely ill COVID-19 patients.”