COVID-19 cases and deaths declining in Africa: WHO

2022-01-23 14:08:30
COVID-19 cases and deaths declining in Africa: WHO

Cases of COVID-19 have plummeted in Africa and deaths are declining for the first time since the Omicron-dominated fourth wave of the virus reached its peak, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

WHO's African regional office said newly reported cases fell by 20 percent in the week to Sunday, while notified deaths dropped by eight per cent.

Only North Africa reported an increase in cases last week, "with a 55 per cent spike", it said.

Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa, warned however: "The continent has yet to turn the tables on this pandemic. So long as the virus continues to circulate, further pandemic waves are inevitable."

She said the world's poorest continent should "not only broaden vaccinations, but also gain increased and equitable access to critical Covid-19 therapeutics to save lives and effectively combat this pandemic.”

Only 10 per cent of the African population are fully vaccinated, according to the WHO.

The continent, with a population of 1.2 billion, has been relatively unscathed by the pandemic, reporting 234,913 deaths from 10.5 million cases, according to AFP tallies.

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