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Africa records higher deaths in second wave of covid-19-WHO

One of the first South African Oxford vaccine trialists looks on as a medical worker injects him with the clinical trial for a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Soweto.   -  
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Africa has recorded nearly 82,000 deaths due to the coronavirus in its second wave, the World Health Organization said Thursday. The figure is higher than when the first wave of the virus hit the continent in 2020.

According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the continent has recorded around 3.3 million covid-19 cases. The WHO Africa Director, Matshidiso Moeti attributes this to several factors.

"Africa is facing a second wave in the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 3.3 million cases and 81,000 lives sadly lost. So the first epidemic peak in July was surpassed in December and cases are continuing to accelerate at a significantly faster pace. I think we have a combination of factors, possibly fatigue with the measures and then of course the festive season with its travel and gatherings", Moeti said.

The WHO Africa Director added that the WHO COVAX programme aims to deliver 600 million doses of the vaccine to the continent by the end of 2021.

"An initial thirty million doses are expected, and I say this with some caveats, to start arriving in countries by March. These are intended to prioritize healthcare workers and other high priority groups and then expanding to cover additional vulnerable groups", she said.

A total of 21 African nations have so far recorded death rate at 2.5 percent, the Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong said. Globally, the average death rate is 2.2 percent.