69,000 new COVID-19 deaths globally in past week, 1000 in Africa

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At least 69,000 new COVID-19 deaths and 4 million infections were recorded globally last week, according to the latest data by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Africa, about 48 000 new cases and just under 1000 new deaths were reported last week; a 3% and -10% change from the previous week, respectively.

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The highest number of new cases and deaths were reported from South Africa (19 730 new cases, 333 new cases per 1 million), Algeria (7438 new cases, 170 new cases per 1 million), Kenya (6201 new cases, 115 new cases per 1 million), Ethiopia (3578 new cases, 31 new cases per 1 million), and Uganda (2277 new cases, 50 new cases per 1 million), which collectively account for 81% of all new cases in the Region.

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Southern Africa:

For the past three weeks, cases in South Africa have increased by over 20% week-on-week, and last week 19 730 new cases were reported (3500 more than the previous week).

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The WHO said the rise in new cases in the Western Cape (including in Cape Town) and Eastern Cape provinces remain a cause for concern. As of 30 November, Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, and Kwa-Zulu-Natal provinces have reported 79% of total cumulative cases.

Eastern Africa:

In East Africa, Ethiopia reported 3578 new cases (31 new cases per 1 million) and 59 deaths (0.5 new deaths per 1 million) in the past week. The number of new cases being reported from Ethiopia has fallen considerably since a peak at the end of August when there were over 10 000 new cases per week. This week the number of new cases rose by 18%, while new deaths fell by 17% from the previous week.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned that a full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding as thousands of refugees in the Tigray region seek safety in eastern Sudan. At the 70th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa held last week, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health highlighted the need to continue to be vigilant in COVID-19 testing, isolation and treatment, and maintaining strong communication on public health and social measures.

Central Africa:

In Central Africa, Cameroon reported 589 new cases (22 new cases per 1 million) and 2 new deaths (0.1 new deaths per 1 million) in the past week.

Since first declaring cases on March 6, new cases rose to peak at around 2000 cases per week at the end of June and in early July. However, the number of new cases declined in July and have averaged below 400 per week since early August.

For the past two weeks cases have risen above this average, with 836 new cases two weeks ago and nearly 600 cases reported this last week.

Last week UNHCR warned that as the pandemic continues, a lethal mix of state at home orders, deepening poverty and economic duress is unleashing a wave of violence against refugee, displaced and stateless women and girls. UNHCR report that in North-West and South-West Cameroon where the security situation remains volatile, a staggering 26% of gender-based violence incidents logged since the onset of the pandemic relate to children.

Globally:

Globally, the number of new infections was slightly downward compared to the previous week, although the number of deaths continued to rise.

The Region of the Americas was the largest contributor for new weekly cases last week.

Although the European Region reported a continued decrease in new weekly cases, it still accounts for the second greatest proportion of new weekly cases, while deaths rates have continued to increase and accounted for approximately half of the new global deaths in the past week.

The Eastern Mediterranean Region registered a slight decline in both cases and deaths last week, after four months of continued increases.

Relatively small increases were reported from the African and South-East Asia Regions, and more substantively from the Western Pacific Region last week. As of 29 November, there have been over 61.8 million cases and over 1.4 million deaths reported globally since the start of the pandemic.

In the past week, the five countries reporting the highest number of cases were the United States of America (reporting over 1.1 million cases, a 0.3% increase from the previous week), India (over 297 000 cases, a 6% increase), Brazil (over 218 000 new cases, a 4% increase), Italy (over 184 000 new cases, a 22% decrease) and Russian Federation (over 179 000 new cases, a 10% increase).

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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