On Tuesday (7), Africa surpassed 200,000 deaths from coronaviruses since the beginning of the pandemic, amid a cruel shortage of vaccines and with less than 3% of its population fully immunized.
The 54 countries in the region, which however were not as affected as other parts of the world, recorded a total of 200,254 deaths, according to an AFP count.
After several particularly deadly months, with 27,000 dead in July and 26,000 in August, the spread of the pandemic has faded across the continent.
Currently, there are 617 deaths a day on the continent, while at the end of July they reached 990, a record.
The numbers are based on daily reports from each country’s health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO estimates that if excess mortality directly and indirectly related to covid-19 is taken into account, the number of victims of the pandemic can be two to three times higher than officially reported.
“The means of detection are very weak on the continent,” explained South African scientist Glenda Davidson. And death records are often approximate or inaccurate, he noted.
The recent decline of covid-19 on a continental scale is due to a sharp drop in infections in the most affected countries in the area.
In South Africa, the country officially most affected by the pandemic, with 83,899 deaths, in the last seven days there were about 7,400 new cases and 234 deaths per day on average, while in July there were up to 20,000 cases and 420 deaths per day.
The drop is even more important in Tunisia, where in the last seven days an average of 1,680 cases and 64 deaths per day were registered, values 41% and 39% lower, respectively, than in the previous week.
In July, the government called the situation “catastrophic”, with up to 7,900 cases and 207 deaths a day. But the Tunisian summer was also marked by a strong acceleration of vaccination: more than 37% of citizens received at least one dose, while on July 1, only 11% had done so.
Africa is the continent where vaccination is least advanced. Only eight doses were administered per 100 population, according to an AFP count, compared with 102 in Europe and 116 in the United States and Canada.
In late August, the WHO denounced “offensive inequalities” in access to vaccines. According to the organization, only about 2.93% of the African population is fully vaccinated, against 52% in the United States and 57% in the European Union.