The coronavirus crisis in Africa has worsened this week with worrying rapidity. This week alone, COVID-19-related deaths in the region have increased by 43%, Al Jazeera reported.
- Vaccination efforts in Africa have been largely non-existent, making newer variants – like the delta variant – more concerning, the New York Times reported.
- Health systems across the continent are overloaded and approaching their “breaking point”, according to Al Jazeera.
These conditions could lead to more devastating – and deadly – epidemics across the continent, The New York Times reported. Here are the five worst COVID-19 outbreaks on the continent right now.
5. The COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa
For more than a week, South Africa has struggled to contain massive violence that left more than 117 dead and devastating looting that stole or destroyed between $ 400 million and $ 1 billion in property, reported the Deseret News.
- The recent violence has halted COVID-19 containment efforts and vaccination deployments in the country with the highest number of cases in Africa, Bloomberg reported.
- Experts predict an increase in the number of cases following the recent violence, according to Al Jazeera.
“The massive looting could be a mass-market event,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the South African KRISP laboratory which does about half of Africa’s genomic sequencing, according to Al Jazeera. “But at the same time, a lot of people stayed quietly at home. At the moment, honestly, we don’t know what the effect will be on the spread of the virus. “
- South Africa reported 16,435 new cases on Thursday, the highest number of new cases of any African country, according to data from the World Health Organization.
- The country has 29 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data from the New York Times.
4. The COVID-19 epidemic in Libya
Epidemics in Libya exploded this week – increasing by 570%, according to data from the New York Times. As the delta variant begins to circulate in Libya, the country has vaccinated less than 10% of its population, the Deseret News reported.
- Libya has reported a daily average of more than 2,100 new cases, the equivalent of 32 new cases per 100,000 population, according to data from the New York Times.
- The number of daily new cases in Libya surpassed its previous all-time high on July 9, and daily new cases have been steadily increasing every day since, according to data from John Hopkins University.
Sadly, the nation’s worst and deadliest wave is far from over. Earlier this week, the WHO warned that cases in Libya could increase dramatically in the coming weeks, according to Deseret News.
3. The COVID-19 epidemic in Namibia
Namibia’s third wave of epidemics – and the deadliest – began in mid-June and has accelerated in recent weeks, the Deseret News reported. The government has extended lockdowns in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of the virus.
- Positivity rates and transmission rates remain incredibly high – with both rates averaging 41% over the past two weeks, Africa CGTN reported.
- The country has reported 48 new cases per 100,000 population, according to data from the New York Times.
A local paramedic, Mohammed Patel, spoke about the struggling healthcare system last week, Deseret News reported.
“Delta has caused a lot of chaos, a lot of patients are suffering, their oxygen levels are dropping drastically every day – there are patients who are in pain and there is no room in the hospital, there is no of fans available, ”Patel said. “It’s complete chaos. “
- Namibia now reports more deaths per capita than anywhere else in the world, The New York Times reported.
2. The COVID-19 epidemic in Tunisia
Coronavirus cases in Tunisia continued to rise as the North African country battles its worst wave of epidemics to date, Deseret News reported. The country called for immediate help from the international community, according to France 24.
- Tunisia has recorded 65 new cases per 100,000 population, making it one of the worst hot spots in the world, according to data from the New York Times.
Last week, a spokeswoman for the Tunisian health ministry, Nisaf Ben Alaya, sounded the alarm bells on the health system. “We are in a catastrophic situation. The health care system has collapsed. We have a hard time supplying oxygen. … Doctors are suffering from unprecedented fatigue, ”Deseret News reported.
- This week, the healthcare system deteriorated further with increasing demand, France 24 reported.
- Intensive care beds are 90% full and oxygen beds are 90% full, CNN reported.
Tunisia, tied with Namibia, reports more deaths per capita than anywhere else in the world, The New York Times reported.
1. The COVID-19 epidemic in Botswana
This week, Botswana, a country in southern Africa, became one of the world’s worst hot spots for the coronavirus, according to data from the New York Times. The country has seen a 127% increase in cases over the past week.
- Botswana now has 67 new cases per 100,000 population, making it one of the five worst hot spots in the world, according to data from the New York Times.
- Botswana on Thursday recorded 5,980 new cases, a new record for the country, according to WHO data.
At the same time, the country ran out of vaccines, according to Reuters. At this point, less than 4.6% of the population has been vaccinated, making conditions incredibly difficult.