Pandemic Loss: Pioneering Ugandan Neurosurgeon Was A ‘Servant Of The People’

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Pandemic Loss: Pioneering Ugandan Neurosurgeon Was A 'Servant Of The People'

When it comes to COVID-19 in Africa, there were mixed signals from Africa on Thursday.

The World Health Organization reports that after eight consecutive weeks of surging cases across the continent, there’s finally been a reversal. The total number of confirmed new cases in Africa fell by 1.7% to nearly 282,000 in the past week. And it’s worth noting that this represents only 8% of new cases worldwide.

But as with so much in this pandemic, that good news comes with a large dose of caution. At a press conference Thursday, WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, noted that the slackening pace of infections is almost entirely the result of a sharp drop in cases in just one country: South Africa — which accounts for about a third of Africa’s reported new cases with more than 104,000 per week,48438853.html,48438835.html

Meanwhile, said Moeti, “the gains in South Africa are also uncertain.” Over the past week the country was riven by violent political protests. “These have disrupted key [COVID] response activities, such as surveillance and testing,” said Moeti. “There are also real concerns that the mass gatherings could trigger another rise in cases in South Africa.”

Adding to the concern is evidence that Africa’s current wave has largely been driven by the Delta variant first identified in India. According to WHO, the Delta variant has now been found in 26 African countries. Delta is about two times as transmissible as the original strain of COVID, and that proved devastating in India — contributing to an unprecedented strain on hospitals as well as widespread death.

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