COVID-19 cases in Africa nearing 4 million mark with over 104 000 deaths

Dr John Nkangasong
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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections on the African continent are nearing the 4 million mark with 3 914 044 cases recorded.

According to the latest data by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the continent has also registered over 104 000 deaths.

This comes as efforts to contain the spread of the virus intensifies, as many countries in the continent have started rolling out vaccination programs while some are about to launch them.

Briefing the media on the latest in COVID-19 response, Director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkangasong says South Africa continues to lead the continent in recording the highest infections.

“In terms of the number of countries in Africa that are recording the highest caseloads, include South Africa and Ethiopia at 160 000 cases.”

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that six more countries in the continent have received COVID-19 vaccines since last week.  The countries include Nigeria, Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, Ivory Coast and Angola.

“As we speak, there’s an accelerated move to begin to distribute the first doses of vaccines, but for this week, we have some numbers but it’s still premature to be putting out numbers there.”

COVID-19 infections in Africa near 4 million mark

Progress in vaccine rollout 

The African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Dr Nicaise Ndemi says Africa is making remarkable progress in its vaccine rollout programs.

Ndemi took part in a panel discussion on Wednesday, hosted by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Chinese Global Television Network (CGTB) about the vaccine rollout program and recent research on the virus. He says, “I think we are making remarkable progress on the continent given the challenges. I think we have 10 countries if not more that have rolled out a COVID-19 vaccine campaign.”

“In the next coming days, 20 Africa countries will roll out their vaccine programs through the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team established by the African Union.”

COVID-19 cases in SA 

As of Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa increased to 1 516 262 after the country identified 1 447 new cases since the last report. In a statement, the Department of Health also reported a further 95 COVID-19 related deaths. The recoveries now stand at 1 434 772, representing a recovery rate of 94,6%.

The number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 83 570 as of 6.30pm, 3 March 2021.

“We are very encouraged that our first target of exhausting the first batch of 80 000 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson in two weeks has been achieved and exceeded. We have taken every opportunity to learn from this process and continue to refine the programme in preparation for the rollout to the larger community in the subsequent phases,” said the Health Department.