Africa COVID-19 Deaths Rise Sharply

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Africa COVID-19 Deaths Rise Sharply

Under-resourced health systems in African countries are facing dire shortages of the health workers, supplies, equipment and infrastructure needed to provide care to severely ill COVID-19 patients.

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  • COVID-19 deaths rose by more than 40 percent last week, reaching 6,273, or nearly 1,900 more than the previous week.
  • Most of the recent deaths, or 83 percent, occurred in Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
  • African countries face shortages in oxygen and intensive care beds.

Fatalities are rising as hospital admissions increase rapidly as African countries face shortages in oxygen and intensive care beds.

COVID-19 deaths rose by more than 40 percent last week, reaching 6,273, or nearly 1,900 more than the previous week.

The number is just shy of the 6,294 peak, recorded in January.

Reaching ‘breaking point’

“Deaths have climbed steeply for the past five weeks. This is a clear warning sign that hospitals in the most impacted countries are reaching a breaking point,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. 

“Under-resourced health systems in African countries are facing dire shortages of the health workers, supplies, equipment and infrastructure needed to provide care to severely ill COVID-19 patients.”

Africa‘s case fatality rate, which is the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases, stands at 2.6 percent compared to the global average of 2.2 percent. 

Most of the recent deaths, or 83 percent, occurred in Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

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