This is down from a “catastrophically high” average of 970 deaths a day last year to about 60 a day by the end of 2022.
“The low death toll expected this year is a huge achievement for the region and a testament to the efforts of countries and partners.” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti told journalists at a virtual press conference.
Despite the WHO’s new model projections from last year – the pandemic’s deadliest – actual cases are estimated to fall by more than a quarter this year.
“However, the work is not done yet. Every time we sit back and relax, COVID-19 flare up again,” she warned.
Analysis, published this week in Lancet Global Health The scientific journal found that while the region reported 113,102 deaths through official channels last year, about a third of cases were missed, bringing the actual death toll to 350,000.
Modeling shows that if current variations and powertrain dynamics remain constant, around 23,000 people are expected to die by the end of the year.
However, a 200% more lethal variant, which will increase the death toll to over 70,000.
Dr Moeti warned: “The threat of new variants remains real and we need to be ready to deal with this ever-present danger.
The study results show that only one in 71 cases of COVID-19 in Africa have been recorded, and 166.2 million infections are forecast this year compared with an estimated 227.5 million in 2021. .
The decline in cases and deaths in 2022 is due to increased immunization, improved pandemic response and natural immunity from previous infections, and failure to prevent reinfection, prevent serious illness leading to death.
A dead year
The analysis estimated that COVID-19 was the seventh leading cause of death in Africa last year, behind only malaria.
The significant increase last year was due to the more contagious and severe Delta variant.
Dr Moeti said: “We have learned many lessons about staying one step ahead of the virus.
As the pandemic persists, WHO considers it important to strengthen comprehensive health care services, including prevention, treatment and vaccination measures for vulnerable populations.
Targeted surveillance will also be important to monitor hospital admissions, comorbid burden, and the emergence of new variants.
“Now is the time to tailor our response and identify the populations most at risk for COVID-19,” said the WHO official.
“Countries must step up efforts to implement a targeted response to provide the most vulnerable with the health services they need.including COVID-19 vaccines and effective treatments. ”
Detail of death
COVID-19 deaths are not evenly distributed across Africa.
High or middle income countries and countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have mortality rates more than double that of lower and middle income countries in the regions. other economic sectors of Africa.
The analysis revealed variation in the number of deaths due to biological and physical factors – mainly comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV and obesity – increases the severity and risk of death in COVID-19 patients.
Dr Moeti said: “The varying mortality rates across countries in the region underscore the need for tailored responses. “As the pandemic persists, what is clear is that our actions need to keep up with what remains an evolving and complex situation.”
Eva Sibanda / UN Women
Omicron offers ‘limited protection’ against reinfection
New data related to the global pandemic, released by the WHO on Thursday, suggests that people who have been infected with the Omicron variant can expect “limited protection” against it.
Latest evidence also shows immunity against more severe COVID disease strong among those who have been infected by Coronavirus and vaccinate against itcompared to those who have just infected, or just stabbed.
The priority should be given to national health authorities to vaccinate all adults, The WHO says the focus is on health care workers, people with low immunity and the elderly.