By Haruna Gimba
About 156,000 people have died of COVID-19 on the African continent since the outbreak of the viral infection, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The agency disclosed this in its latest update, noting that the continent has now recorded 6,166,703 cases and 156,678 fatalities.
The Africa CDC says more than 6.1m cases have been recorded on the continent so far with over 5.3m recoveries.
The African Union health agency stated that 5,370,520 recoveries had been recorded despite the increase in fatalities.
In the Africa CDC’s latest report, the Central African region has recorded 198,002 cases; 3,082 deaths and 172,754 recoveries while Cameroon has the highest figures with 80,858 cases;1,324 and 78,980 recoveries.
East Africa, according to the report, recorded 759,782 cases; 16,123 deaths and 675,473 recoveries with Ethiopia leading the region with 277,536 cases; 4,352 deaths and 262,237 recoveries.
In Northern Africa, there are now 1,761,091 cases; 50,790 deaths and 1,487,367 recoveries while Morocco has the highest figures with 552,635 cases; 9,427 deaths and 529,853 recoveries.
According to the report, Southern Africa has now recorded 2,944,877 cases; 80,078 deaths and 2,559,762 recoveries as South Africa is still the leading country on the continent with 2,269,179 cases; 66,385 deaths and 2,009,456 recoveries.
The Africa CDC report shows that Nigeria has the highest figures in the West African region with 169,206 cases; 2,126 deaths and 164,666 recoveries out of 502,951 cases; with 6,605 deaths and 475,164 recoveries recorded.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement alerted that Africa has recorded a 43 per cent week-on-week rise in COVID-19 deaths, as hospital admissions increase rapidly and countries face shortages in oxygen and intensive care beds.
The WHO noted that fatalities increased to 6,273 in the week ending July 11, 2021, from 4,384 deaths in the previous week.
According to the statement, COVID-19 cases have risen for eight straight weeks, topping six million on July 13, 2021.
The WHO pointed out that Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia accounted for 83 per cent of the new deaths recorded in the past week.
The United Nations health agency said the surge is driven by public fatigue with key health measures and an increased spread of variants.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said: “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.
“Under-resourced health systems in countries are facing dire shortages of the health workers, supplies, equipment and infrastructure needed to provide care to severely ill COVID-19 patients.”