Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 7 million mark amid rapid spike of new cases

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 09:13 |
Researchers in a room where a sample of ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019 Oxford coronavirus vaccine is stored at Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi. Two medical workers have already been vaccinated. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 7 million mark amid rapid spike of new casThe number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa surpassed the 7 million mark on Sunday amid rising number of new cases across the continent.

In an update, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said that as of Sunday afternoon, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 7,015,907 as the death toll from the pandemic hit 176,900, while the number of recoveries stood at 6,119,091.

As Africa is grappling with a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the continent registered an increase of 1 million cases within only about three weeks since July 14. Ahmed Ogwell, deputy director of the Africa CDC, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that the rapid spike in new cases is mainly attributed to the third wave of COVID-19 infections, which further exacerbated the infection rate.

"Africa is certainly in the process of the third-wave. Many countries are experiencing many more cases, new cases being reported on a daily basis. This is a concern for us at the Africa CDC," he said.

According to the Africa CDC, some 32 African countries, accounting for 58 percent of African countries, are experiencing the third wave COVID-19 infections; while three African countries that are Algeria, Kenya and Tunisia are presently experiencing the fourth wave infections.

South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Ethiopia are the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the Africa CDC. In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.

Meanwhile, some 24 African countries are reporting a higher case fatality ratio for COVID-19 than the global average of 2.1 percent, according to the agency.

The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, stressed that it is supporting AU members in order to contain the spread of the virus across the continent.

"We are very active right now supporting countries whose numbers are rising, and we are very, very active supporting countries that are facing challenges of seriously ill citizens as a result of COVID-19," Ogwell said.

"We are in the third-wave, and doing everything we can using our strategy - the Joint Continental Strategy on COVID-19 for Africa to be able to support our member states on the continent.

"⁰We are quite confident that working together, we will be able to bring down the numbers relatively soon," he added. 

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