- Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 1648 EAT on Thursday 28 April 2022.
While global COVID-19 cases have been on a decrease, Africa has had a 32 per cent increase in cases in the past one week, according to a latest epidemiological report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
With Omicron remaining the most dominant variant circulating, four countries in Africa reported an increase of over 20 per cent in cases, with some of the greatest proportional increases observed in Burundi, South Africa and Eswatini.
WHO also reports that globally the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has continued to decline since the end of March 2022. During the week of 18th through 24th April 2022, over 4.5 million cases and over 15 000 deaths were reported accounting for decreases of 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, as compared to the previous week.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general says recent figures are causing many countries to relax with some progressively changing their COVID-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower overall numbers of tests performed and consequently lower numbers of cases detected. Uganda for example, this week announced further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions including 72-hour tests for vaccinated travellers, restrictions on public gathering, wearing of masks in public spaces among others.
Ghebreyesus expresses worries that WHO is recently receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing which makes them increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution.
Overall however, in the past seven days, a total of 35,994 new cases were registered in Africa bringing the cumulative number of infections recorded on the continent since the beginning of the pandemic to 8,721,105 as of Wednesday.