The report on the number of deaths in the African continent due to Covid-19 hits the 100,000 mark. An alarming number for the African continent. The second wave of the coronavirus bearing the new variant proves to be quite infectious and disturbing for Africa. Even the hospitals are complaining of their inability to be able to curb the new rising infections. Comparing the first wave to the second, Africa`s death toll has had a significant rise in numbers during the second wave. Hence the continent’s efforts to purchase the coronavirus vaccine through the African Union and other aid agencies.
Africa and the rest of the world
Statistically, Africa stands at 100,354 covid-19 deaths. However, it stands far off compared with the western continents. North America has more than half a million covid-19 deaths. Europe itself is rising to 900,000 covid deaths. Some countries single-handedly surpass the 100,000 marks. Most of the death is recorded in the African continent. According to Africa Covid-19 statistics, South Africa contributes to more than 40% of the continent’s infections.
The 501Y.V2 variant
Towards the end of last year, South Africa was dawned with a new strain of coronavirus. The 501Y.V2 variant. This new strain is 50% more infectious than its incumbent virus. The virus quickly spread in the South African continent. Hospitals complain of the struggle it has become to curb the spread of the variant. Hence the rising numbers of infections and deaths in the country.
International Health Perspective
The World Health Organization Immunization coordinator, Richard Mihigo, recounts the struggle in Africa. With the new variant now registering in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, more spread is slowly growing into the African continent. The shortage in oxygen supplies in most African countries worsens the situation. This makes it more difficult to deal with severe cases hence the rise in deaths.
Africa`s death toll data
Africa has had a high death rate even before the onset of the new variant. Before, it was at a 2.4% fatality rate. A little bit higher than the global fatality rate of 2.3%. Currently, the percentage has increased to 2.6%. However, experts advise that the data might not represent the actual actions taking place. The fear that the real deaths might be higher or even lower compared to the given statistics.
Professor Francisca Mutapi is an expert on infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh. She seconds that there is a possibility of a rise in the case fatality rate if the deaths do not rely on a positive test. However, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong states that the corona’s new wave has spread on quite a number. He affirms that most Africans, unlike before, are aware of the disease and might know one person succumbed to the disease.
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