The African continent, which seemed to have more or less mastered the first wave of Covid-19 contamination, is being ravaged by the virulence of the second wave. The continent has officially passed the 100,000 death mark, with more than 3,700,000 reported cases.This official assessment only takes into account the figures disclosed by the health authorities but the general contamination and the number of deaths far exceeds what is retained.
All the 54 countries that make up the African continent are affected by the current pandemic. South Africa is well ahead with 1,498,766 positive cases and 48,708 deaths.The Maghreb also faces a rise in cases. In West Africa, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Senegal, the number of cases has increased rapidly since December.
On the continent, 21 countries have mortality rates above the global average of 2.2%. In Sudan, the virus kills 6.2% of infected people, and 5.5% in Egypt. In West Africa, Liberia has a fatality rate of 4.4%, Mali 4.1%, Chad 3.6% and Niger 3.5%.
African governments have entered the vaccine race to permanently break the chain of contamination and achieve collective immunity. Indeed, in the continent, the numbers are not easy to control because some carriers of the virus are said to be asymptomatic, others confuse Covid-19 with other diseases. In addition, in some communities access to testing is a real problem, so knowing the exact number of people infected remains a real equation.
According to Emmanuel Baron, epidemiologist of the NGO Médecins sans frontières (MSF) present in Africa, “Many countries have essentially PCR tests, in capitals. And the further away you get from urban centres, the fewer tests there are.”