MIL OSI Translation. Region: France and French Territories –
Source: United Nations – in French 2
Headline: Covid-19: deaths expected to decline by almost 94% in 2022, WHO says
Deaths from the new coronavirus are expected to fall by nearly 94% this year in Africa, compared to 2021, the deadliest year of the pandemic on the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
According to new modeling from the UN World Health Agency, estimated deaths in the African region will decline to around 60 a day in 2022. At the same time, infections are expected to fall by just over a quarter This year.
“The low number of deaths expected this year is a great achievement for the region and a testament to the efforts of countries and partners,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement.
“It was a catastrophically high toll,” recalled Dr. Moeti. Modeling suggests that around 23,000 deaths are expected by the end of 2022 if current variants and transmission dynamics remain constant. However, a 200% deadlier variant would cause the death toll to rise to over 70,000.
Last year, the continent was on an average of 970 deaths per day.
Improved pandemic response and natural immunity resulting from previous infections
According to the analysis, which was published this week in the scientific journal The Lancet Global Health, the gap between the number of cases and deaths in 2022 is due to increased vaccination, improved response to the pandemic and to the natural immunity resulting from previous infections which, without preventing reinfections, halts severe forms of the disease and deaths.
At the same time, the analysis shows that the variation in the number of deaths is due to biological and physical factors, mainly comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV and obesity, which increase the severity and risk of mortality in patients with Covid-19. The prevalence of these comorbidities has increased in countries with higher death tolls.
However, the discrepancy between cases and deaths is evident in the latest six-week outbreak in Southern Africa, where the average reported deaths held steady at nearly 200 per week, compared to an average of more than 44,000 new weekly cases. .
Over the past two weeks, the number of new cases has declined after four consecutive weeks of increases across Africa, suggesting that the latest outbreak has reached its peak.
© UNICEF/Kalungi Kabuye
Vaccination against Covid-19 at a hospital in Masaka, Uganda.
Africa must be prepared to face the dangers of new variants
In 2021, the African region experienced a particularly deadly pandemic, with analysis estimating that Covid-19 was the seventh leading cause of death, just behind malaria, while in 2020 the virus was the 22nd leading cause of death. In the region. The significant increase in deaths in 2021 was due to the delta variant, which is more infectious and causes more severe disease.
Despite this encouraging study, the WHO believes that the work is not yet finished. “Every time we sit down and relax, Covid-19 resurfaces,” warned Dr Moeti, noting that “the threat of new variants remains real, and the continent must be prepared for this. ever-present danger.
After learning many lessons about how to stay ahead of the virus, the WHO notes that now is the time to refine a response and identify the populations most at risk from the coronavirus.
“Countries must step up their efforts to lead a targeted response that provides the most vulnerable people with the health services they need, including COVID-19 vaccines and effective treatments,” Dr Moeti concluded.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.