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Africa sees COVID cases rise again as second wave looms

The number of COVID-19 cases has started rising in Africa after weeks of seeming decline.

Speaking to the media, WHO Africa, Regional Director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, confirmed the news. Dr Moeti said that the past week had seen a substantial rise in cases and deaths.

Five weeks of a steady rise

Indeed, according to the Africa CDC, on the week ending 14th October, there had been a 14 per cent increase in cases. While the four weeks leading up to October 7th saw a 7 per cent increase in cases. Furthermore, deaths increased by 8 per cent over the same time, showing that Africa could be going through a second wave.

However, Africa CDC head, John Nkengasong, said that rising deaths could be due to improved documentation.

Africa has a relatively low mortality rate (2 per cent), but an extremely high recovery rate, passing 80 per cent. This means, four out of five infected in the continent have made a full recovery. So far, Africa has over 1.6 million confirmed infections and over 1.3 million recoveries.

Countries with rising cases

Countries to see rising cases included South Africa, Libya, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Morocco. Indeed, surging cases in Morocco has seen it pass Egypt as Africa’s second worst-hit country after South Africa. The country has over 167,000 confirmed COVID cases. Deaths have passed 2,800.

Kenya, which had seen a decline in cases, has also been reporting rising infections. While testing has improved in the country, the positivity rate has also been rising, going above 10 per cent for two days running.

Furthermore, East, Central and North Africa are all witnessing significant rising cases.

The rise in infections came after countries relaxed further the previous restrictions they had in place. Many countries in the continent went into lockdowns early and fast, thus, perhaps why cases have been rising slowly. However, relaxed measures have come with a new problem – laxity among the general population. This could be contributing significantly to the rising figures.

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