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COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Fifth wave hits parts of Africa and – surprise, surprise – unvaxxed bear brunt

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Fifth wave hits parts of Africa and – surprise, surprise – unvaxxed bear brunt

January 14 2022 - 06:40

Fifth wave hits parts of Africa and – surprise, surprise – unvaxxed bear brunt

Eight African countries are already in their fifth wave of the pandemic and the continent has “hit the important milestone” of more than 10-million Covid-19 infections said Dr John Nkengasong, director of theAfrica Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, on Thursday.

Covid-19 deaths have been lower in the steeper and briefer Omicron-driven fourth wave than previous waves, but they still soared over the festive season, bringing the total number of people who have died to more than 223,000 this week.

Deaths rose on average by a third (33%) in the four weeks to January 9, and Nigeria was the worst affected with a 299% average increase, the Africa CDC chief reported. In the past seven days, deaths jumped by nearly two thirds (64%) compared to the week before, according to the latest report by the World Health Organisation Africa region.

Fifth wave hits parts of Africa and – surprise, surprise – unvaxxed bear brunt

January 14 2022 - 06:00

New numbers should add up to the end of the Covid-19 disaster: Winde

Prior infection and vaccination have reduced the severity of Covid-19 during the Omicron-driven fourth wave, according to a study of nearly 17,000 patients in the Western Cape.

A team of 46 scientists led by Mary-Ann Davies of the provincial health intelligence unit estimated the Omicron variant’s reduced virulence may account for about a quarter of the reduced risk of hospitalisation or death compared with Delta, the variant behind the third wave.

Reporting their findings on Wednesday in apreprintthat has not yet been peer-reviewed, the team said antibody protection — or seroprevalence — from previous infection was estimated at 70%, and was particularly strong “in poorer communities where social distancing is challenging”.

New numbers should add up to the end of the Covid-19 disaster: Winde