Africa is expected to continue its high COVID-19 trajectory, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 outbreak’s trajectory in Africa is expected to continue to increase for a prolonged period due to lower testing capacity and lack of vaccination plans, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Africa is reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases with a November increase of 33% in new confirmed COVID-19 cases compared with October and a 20% rise in the first two weeks of December with an average of 15,498 daily confirmed cases.

Bahram Hassanpourfard at GlobalData comments: “The most affected countries in December are in the northern and southern regions. The approach of winter in the northern part and mass gatherings in the south are believed to be the major cause of recent surges.”

The western region has reported the highest increase in the new daily confirmed cases since December with countries such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal reporting 6.9, 4.6, and 3.8 times increases since October, respectively.

Hassanpourfard continues, “This indicates a shift of the epicenter toward western and previously less-affected regions. This shift might be a result of the higher travel rate due to Christmas holidays.”

The case fatality rate (proportion of confirmed deaths to confirmed cases) in Africa is similar to the global average. As many African countries do not have the same health resources compared with the rest of the world, a higher case fatality ratio might be expected. The observed case fatality ratio might be the result of a younger population, rural outdoor living, and possibly limitations in testing and reporting.

The majority of these countries do not have resources or plans for vaccination, and only a quarter of African countries have plans and resources for COVID-19 vaccination while less than half of the countries have identified priority groups for vaccination.

Hassanpourfard concludes, “This lack of vaccination will contribute to an increase in the number of new confirmed cases in Africa for an extended time period.”

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