AFRICA – According to Africa CDC, the number of COVID-19 cases in the continent currently stand at 5,049,046, a number drawn from a test sample of 46,665,779.
So far, the continent has recorded 134,818 deaths and a cumulative 4,524,651 recoveries, the Africa union dedicated health agency, CDC, reported.
The southern region is most affected in the continent with 2,187,988 infections and 66,418 deaths. South Africa alone carries the bulk of infections and fatalities in Africa having recorded over 1.7 million cases and 57,000 fatalities.
Speaking to the congregation at the G-7 summit, Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, urged the Group of Seven countries to help finance the World Health Organization’s (WHO) program to boost COVID-19 testing, diagnostics and vaccines around the world, Africa in particular.
“If the world is to emerge from this grave crisis, it is essential that we work together to mobilize and direct resources to those countries in the greatest need – and that we do so now,” said Ramaphosa.
South Africa is struggling as intensive-care wards are filling up and hospitals are stockpiling oxygen cylinders as infections surge again.
The situation is no different in many African nations. In Uganda, where the government has to reinforce lockdown and close down schools, hospitals have become so overwhelmed with new coronavirus cases that the sick are dying while waiting for a bed.
In Namibia, all nonemergency surgeries have been canceled to preserve space for Covid-19 patients and military hospitals have been opened for civilian use. The country is edging up toward 1,000 fatalities.
By region, African union member states have recorded cases as; Central Region (183,827 cases; 2,897 deaths; 166,868 recoveries with Cameroon on the lead with cases having recorded 80,090 cases and 1,310 deaths.
The Eastern Region (676,849; 13,313; 565,935): with Ethiopia (274,028 cases; 4,237 deaths; 250,089 recoveries) and Kenya (175,176; 3,396; 120,031) carrying the bulk of cases. Rwanda (28,146; 370; 26,341) has been setting trends in combating the pandemic, having recently acquired authorization to host an Olympics vaccination hub in preparation for Tokyo Olympics 20202.
In the Northern Region (1,505,772; 45,600; 1,318,844), cases are constantly rising making the region the second most affected in Africa. Egypt (272,491; 15,582; 200,273) is on the lead while Tunisia (367,047; 13,436; 320,767) closes in.
Western region has thus far recorded 477,721 cases, 6,336 deaths and 459,700 recoveries. Ghana (94,493; 789; 92,589), Mali (14,349; 523; 9,937), Nigeria (167,051; 2,117; 163,430) and Senegal (41,952; 1,150; 40,489) are adversely affected.
Africa has so far managed to fully vaccinate 0.6% of the 1.3 billion against Covid-19. News that the Group of Seven countries will donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses to poor countries holds out the promise of some relief in the continent.
However, the donated shots, most of which won’t start to arrive until August or later, may not prevent many African governments from running out of shots in the coming weeks as deliveries from the World Health Organization-backed COVAX program for developing countries have slowed to a trickle.
Of the 2.2 billion vaccines given globally, fewer than 36 million have been administered in Africa, according to the Africa CDC. Three African countries, Tanzania, Burundi and Eritrea, have vaccinated no one.
Meanwhile, new, more transmissible virus variants are taking root in several African nations, compounding their struggle to rebound from the continent’s worst recession on record.
Without a boost in supplies, just seven countries in the WHO Africa region will have vaccinated 10% of their populations by the end of September, said the agency’s regional director, Matshidiso Moeti.
In the Seychelles, Africa’s most vaccinated country, there has been a resurgence in cases, likely due to new variants and the relatively lower efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine.
Africa’s current wave is set to exacerbate a historic divergence between economies in the world’s richest and poorest nations.