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August 20, 2021

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Africa’s low vaccine rate increases variant proliferation risk

By Paul Dennis

20 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 210 million with more than 4,407,000 deaths and over 143,880,000 recoveries reported.

Today, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia led the world in reported new daily deaths related to Covid-19 with over 970, 830, and 760 deaths, respectively.

In the US, daily deaths continue to rise as the seven-day average increased 48% over the past two weeks.

This trend will likely continue to increase as daily confirmed cases have risen 47% over this period and increases in deaths tend to lag by two weeks.

In Africa, South Africa, Morocco, and Botswana are seeing high transmission in daily confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Over the past two weeks, cases in South Africa have increased 12% to over 12,100 new daily cases, while in Morocco cases have increased by 12% with over 8,800 daily cases.

Although cases in Botswana have declined by 11% over the past two weeks, Botswana reported over 1,600 daily confirmed cases indicating that transmission remains high in the country per capita.

Given the high prevalence of the Delta variant in most African countries, the WHO is worried that cases may continue to rise.

This concern is well-founded given the low prevalence of fully vaccinated individuals throughout the continent, as only 2% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated according to the WHO.

With such low vaccination rates, Covid-19 infections may continue to rise in Africa, which increases the likelihood of new variants arising due to the large number of people at risk for infection.

Walter Gabriel, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData Plc.

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