COVID deaths in Africa surge by 40% in January alone
London, Feb. 12, 2021 (AltAfrica)-The number of Covid deaths in Africa have surged by 40% in the last month-January 2021 alone, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.
The numbers push the continent’s total covid deaths stand at 97,299 and recoveries –3,256,433 since the first reported case there on 14 February 2020.
More than 22,300 deaths have been reported in Africa in the past 28 days, compared with nearly 16,000 deaths in the previous month.
Within Africa, 32 countries reported a rise in deaths in the past 28 days, while 21 reported flat or falling rates.
Africa’s COVID-19 fatality rate rose to 3.7% during that time compared to 2.4% in the previous month and is and is now well above the global average.
#COVID19 update in Africa as of 12/02/2021 at 9 AM EAT. Cases — 3,715,923., Deaths – 97,299 and Recoveries –3,256,433.— Africa CDC (@AfricaCDC) February 12, 2021
More at https://t.co/7xkrFH4etK#AfricaResponds #TestTraceTreat #FactsNotFear pic.twitter.com/cbuay9fQCZ
This spike in mortality comes as South Africa grapples with a new and more dangerous variant of the virus.
Experts believe the emergence of new coronavirus variations in Africa have contributed to in an increase in the number of both cases and deaths reported in many countries on the continent.
There’s also concern that these variants can’t easily be tracked because the the type of testing required to identify them isn’t available in most countries.
At least 40 countries have now seen a second wave of the pandemic, including all countries in the southern Africa region, says the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC).
“This new wave of infections is thought to be associated with the emergence of variants that are more transmissible.”
A new variant of the virus emerged in South Africa last year, and has contributed to record case numbers in the southern African region, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Elsewhere in Africa, this variant has also been officially recorded in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania.
It’s highly likely to have reached other countries on the continent, but few have the capacity to carry out the specialised genomic sequencing required to detect coronavirus variants.
“The increasing deaths from COVID-19 we are seeing are tragic, but are also disturbing warning signs that health workers and health systems in Africa are dangerously overstretched.
“This grim milestone must refocus everyone on stamping out the virus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa said.