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Africa exceeds two million cases of COVID-19; expect a second wave

Since the pandemic began, the 55 member states of the African Union accumulate 2 million 13 thousand 388 confirmed cases of the disease

Africa today overcame the psychological barrier of 2 million COVID-19 infections with 48,400 deaths, while trying to prepare for a second wave of the disease and admits that the vaccine will take time to reach the continent.

Since the first continental contagion, on February 14 in Egypt, the 55 member states of the African Union (AU) accumulate 2 million 13 thousand 388 cases, reported the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Africa).

The contagions led to 48,408 deaths and one million 703 thousand 498 cures, according to the data collected by this body of the UA.

We have reached a milestone“By exceeding 2 million infections, CDC Africa director John Nkengasong said in a remote press conference, declaring”very worried” why “many countries“They do not enforce public health measures, such as face protection with a mask.

Five countries concentrate around 70 percent of cases: South Africa (38 percent), Morocco (15 percent), Egypt (6 percent), Ethiopia (5 percent) and Tunisia (4 percent).

The enigma of the impact of the coronavirus in Africa

The continent represents the 3.6 percent of the infections registered around the world, a fact that many experts consider that does not reflect the real impact of the pandemic on the continent.

The true incidence of this crisis remains an enigma in Africa, as only 20.6 million tests, of which 73 percent correspond to South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Cameroon.

These screening tests cover a very small percentage of the African population, numbering about 1.3 billion people and where there are many asymptomatic patients.

With everything, Africa, at least according to official data, has escaped for the moment the catastrophic blow of the coronavirus in other areas of the world such as Europe or America.

Many experts attribute this circumstance to factors such as young population, its experience in previous epidemics (Ebola and malaria, for example), its less interconnectedness and the possibility that it enjoys some immunity from other strains of coronavirus

Despite the fact that the continent has managed to avoid worst omens from many international organizations, which almost months ago predicted a health apocalypse due to the known vulnerability of their health systems, the director of CDC Africa warned today that a second wave of disease is coming.

“We are inevitably heading into a second wave of the pandemic on the continent, according to the available data, ”Nkengasong stressed, noting that, during the last month, new cases increased by 9 percent in Africa.

“The only way we have succeeded Until now, as a continent, it has been cooperating with political leaders and the community and implementing public health measures: putting on a mask, social distancing and washing hands, ”he explained.

But “we cannot give in. If we give in, then all the sacrifices and investments we made in these efforts over the past ten months will go away. And we do not want to be in that scenario ”, remarked the Cameroonian virologist.

Nkengasong advocated “working hard” in the application of current health measures and, with a great deal of realism, warned that the vaccines that are being developed against the coronavirus “will not arrive until the middle of next year” to the continent.

The mask can save lives

“Use a mask appropriately and sustained – he asserted – is as effective as any vaccine that comes “in the future.

Nkengasong described as “good news” the promising results of clinical trials on the long-awaited vaccine announced in the last week by the companies Pfizer and Moderna, with an effectiveness greater than 90 percent.

However, the Cameroonian doctor warned that the “storage conditions“Of these drugs will be” challenging “in their distribution throughout Africa, as they require refrigeration to 70 degrees Celsius below zero.

While contagions grow Due to the relaxation of containment measures in many countries whose economies have collapsed due to the coronavirus, the coming Christmas dates threaten to further complicate the pandemic on the continent and encourage the second wave.

“These end-of-year meetings are a key part of our lives in African countries, but certainly can increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19“WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said today.

In another online press conference, Moeti admitted “a certain level of fatigue“In the population, fed up with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, but urged Africans to be” aware of the risks “and wear masks, since” they can save lives. “

With information from .