…as Africa’s death toll tops 100,000
Nigeria on Friday recorded 10 deaths from COVID-19 raising the fatality toll in the past two days to 26.
Friday’s figure raised the total fatalities in the country to 1,813.
Nigeria also recorded 662 new infections on Friday, according to the country’s infectious disease agency, NCDC.
The new figure reported from 23 states raised the total infections in the country to 150,908.
Since the start of the second wave of COVID-19 last December, Nigeria has recorded more cases of the virus.
An average of over 1,000 cases have been reported daily since the beginning of 2021.
Nearly half of Nigeria’s total infections were recorded this year with about 65,000 infections reported since January 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, health experts say the official numbers do not give a “full picture” of the outbreak in the country. They say low testing in many states across the country means infections have been under-reported, a situation considered the biggest challenge in the nation’s management of the outbreak.
A recent general fact sheet published by the NCDC further exposed the gulf in testing for COVID-19 in Kogi and many other states.
More than two-thirds of the over 150,000 people infected by COVID-19 in Nigeria have recovered after treatment.
The figure indicates the level of success the country’s health professionals have recorded in containing the virus.
According to NCDC data published Friday night, a total of 127,500 have recovered after treatment
Although people who recover from a viral infection often develop immunity against the same disease, it remains unclear whether this is the case with COVID-19 infection.
Meanwhile, about 21,000 infections are still active in the country.
Lagos had the highest toll in Friday’s tally with 167 new cases followed by FCT and Ogun with 116 and 45 infections respectively.
Since the pandemic broke out in February last year, Nigeria has carried out over 1.3 million tests.
And in a related development, the coronavirus death toll on the African continent surpassed 100,000 on Friday, as African countries struggled to obtain vaccines to counteract the pandemic.
South Africa alone accounts for nearly half of the confirmed deaths in Africa with 48,859, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The country, which is facing its own variant of the virus, also accounts for nearly half the confirmed cases in the region, with more than 1.5 million. Total cases across the African continent are more than 3.8 million.
The 54-nation continent of about 1.3 billion people reached the milestone of 100,000 deaths shortly after marking one year since the first coronavirus case was confirmed on the continent, in Egypt on February 14, 2020.
The actual death toll from the virus in Africa is believed to be higher than the official count as some who died were likely never included in confirmed tallies.
Countries across the continent are only beginning to see the arrival of coronavirus vaccines, months after some wealthier countries are well under way in the process of vaccinating their most vulnerable populations.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the global manufacturing capacity of coronavirus vaccines needs to double to meet global demand.
In a virtual address to this year’s Munich Security Conference, he called for a global vaccination plan to ensure an equitable vaccine distribution and said the biggest world powers must work together.
Without naming the United States and China, he said, “Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe into two opposing areas in a Great Fracture.”
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