Africa’s COVID-19 infections top 8.38 million mark

By Jerry Omondi

Citizens receive COVID-19 vaccine at the Diepsloot Taxi Rank Pop-Up Vaccination Site on September 29, 2021 in Diepsloot, South Africa. (Photo by Luba Lesolle / Gallo Images via Getty Images)

The number of COVID-19 infections in Africa has surpassed the 8.38 million even as the continent continues its efforts against the virus.

According to the latest data from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), 8,383,097 cases had been confirmed by Sunday afternoon, with 213,877 deaths.

South Africa remains to be the hardest-hit country by the pandemic on the continent, having registered 2,911,497 cases with 88,292 fatalities.

The figures account for 34.73 percent of Africa’s caseload and 41,28 percent of its deaths.

Besides South Africa, only two other African countries have recorded virus loads exceeding 500,000; Morocco (938,801) and Tunisia (709,456).

African countries have rolled out vaccination drives in efforts to contain further spread of the virus. The continent however still lags behind other regions in vaccination numbers, having struggled to obtain the vital doses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), African countries were the majority of 56 states that missed out on a target to vaccinate at least 10 percent of every country’s population by end September.

The WHO  last week unveiled a plan to vaccinate 40% of the population of every country by the end of this year and 70% by mid-2022.

The health bloc said global vaccine production has now hit nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, which means there is sufficient vaccine from a supply perspective to achieve the global vaccination targets provided that there is equitable distribution of those doses.

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