The weekly Covid-19 deaths in Africa reached a record high in the week that ended on August 1, marking the highest seven-day toll since the onset of the pandemic in the continent.

Relying on the data from the World Health Organization(WHO), Today News Africa reports that over 6,400 deaths were recorded, a 2 per cent rise compared with the previous week, with South Africa and Tunisia accounting for over 55 percent of the fatalities.

The data also show that death trends are also on the rise in 15 countries and 12 have reported higher case fatality rates than the African average of 2.5 percent over the last month.

With more than 172,000 deaths, Africa accounts for over 4 percent of the 4.2million Covid-19 related deaths recorded globally to date.

“It’s a sad day for Africa. Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost friends and loved ones,” said Dr Phionah Atuhebwe, Vaccines Introduction Officer at the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

“Deaths have peaked week-on-week on the continent and after a slight dip, Covid-19 cases are surging again.

“The latest data tells us Africa is still on the crest of the third wave, still recording more cases than in any earlier peak, and that we cannot take anything for granted.”

Covid-19 cases rose by 19percent to over 278,000 in the week ending on 1 August. South Africa accounted for 29percent of the cases, which remain close to Africa’s record high of 286,000 weekly cases recorded in early July.

Twenty two African countries have seen cases rise by over 20 percent for at least two weeks running. The highly transmissible Delta variant has been found in 29 African countries.

The Alfa variant has been detected in 39 countries and Beta variant in 35.

This comes as Covid-19 vaccine shipment to Africa ramp up. Nearly 12 million doses arrived through COVAX in July, more than that came in April, May and June. The last two weeks of July saw a 12-fold rise in deliveries from the first half of the month.

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