- Good morning from the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, and thank you to members of the press for joining today’s briefing.
- At this time, I will share updates on the COVID-19 situation on the continent, including our response efforts and updates on the vaccine situation.
COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | OVERVIEW
- As of today, August 26th, African Union Member States are reporting the following:
- Total cases: Over 7.6 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in Africa, (7,620,106). This accounts for 3.6% of total cases reported globally.
- Total recoveries: Over 6.7 million people have recovered, (6,739,014). This accounts for 88% of the total cases reported in Africa.
- Total deaths: Over 191,000 deaths have been reported (191,818). This results ina cumulative case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.5%,and accounts for 4.3% of deaths reported globally.
- The following five countries account for 63% of all cases reported in Africa.
- South Africa: 36% of total cases (2,722,202)
- Morocco: 11% of total cases (829,137)
- Tunisia: 8% of total cases (647,483)
- Libya: 4% of total cases (300,455)
- Ethiopia: 4% of total cases (300,092)
- Case Fatality Rate (CFR): this week, 22 countries (40% of Member States), are reporting a CFR higher than the global average of 2.1%
- 3 countries (Egypt, Somalia and Sudan) are reporting a CFR higher than 5%.
- 69% of Member States(38 countries) experienced the 3rd COVID-19 wave. 29 (76%) MS are experiencing a more severe 3rd wave.
- Since the last briefing, TWO additional Member States (Angola and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) are experiencing a 3rd wave.
- Four countries (Algeria, Kenya, Somalia and Tunisia) are experiencing a 4th COVID-19 wave. 2 (50%) MS are experiencing a more severe 4th wave.
- Since the last briefing, NO additional Member State is experiencing a 4th wave.
COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | VARIANTS OF CONCERN (VOC)
- 43 countries are now reporting the Alpha (B.1.1.7) VOC.
Since the last briefing, ONE additional Member State (Eswatini) has reported this variant.
- 37 countries are now reporting the Beta (B.1.351) VOC.
Since the last briefing, NO additional Member State has reported this variant.
- 32 countries are now reporting the Delta (B.1.617.2) VOC.
Since the last briefing, TWO additional Member States (Egypt and Liberia) have reported this variant.
- 1 Member State is reporting the Gamma (GR/501Y.V3/P.1+P.1.1+P.1.2) VOC.
Since the last briefing, NO Member State has reported this variant.
More details are provided in our dashboard:
COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | ONE-WEEK TREND ANALYSIS
- The following are trends for epidemiological week 33 (16 – 22 August 2021), compared to the previous epidemiological week 32 (9 – 15 August 2021):
- New cases: A total of 239,353 new cases were reported in Africa. This is a 2% decrease from the previous week.
- The highest proportion of new cases is from the Southern region (46%). The other regions are as follows:
- Northern region (37%)
- Eastern region (9%)
- Western region (7%)
- Central region (1%)
- The following 5 countries are reporting the highest number of new cases:
- South Africa (85,387)
- Morocco (51,493)
- Tunisia (17,322)
- Libya (12,261)
- Botswana (8,462)
- The following 5 countries are reporting the highest daily incidence per million population, (average number of new cases per million population per day):
- Seychelles (584)
- Eswatini (529)
- Botswana (504)
- Libya (254)
- Tunisia (210)
- New deaths: A total of 5,587 new deaths were reported in Africa compared to 6,225 from the previous week. This represents a 10% decrease in new deaths from the previous week.
COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | FOUR-WEEK TREND ANALYSIS
- The following are trends over the past 4 epidemiological weeks, (26 July – 22 August 2021):
- New cases: There has been an overall 0.3% average increase in new cases reported in Africa each week.
- The following is a regional breakdown:
- 8% increase in the Northern region
- 8% increase in the Western region
- 6% increase in the Eastern region
- 10% decrease in the Central region
- 5% decrease in the Southern region
- The following is a breakdown by the most populous countries in Africa:
- Ethiopia: 72% average increase
- Egypt: 36% average increase
- Nigeria: 35% average increase
- Kenya: 17% average increase
- South Africa: 1% average increase
- DR Congo: 18% average decrease
- New deaths: There has been an overall 4% average decrease in new deaths reported in Africa each week.
- The following is a breakdown by the most populous countries in Africa:
- Nigeria: 100% average increase
- Ethiopia: 63% average increase
- DR Congo: 59% average increase
- Kenya: 29% average increase
- Egypt: 7% average increase
- South Africa: 5% average decrease
COVID-19 TESTING & MEDICAL SUPPLIES
- To date, over 65 million COVID-19 tests (65,269,961) have been conducted in African Union Member States since the pandemic started.
- Over 1.5 million new tests, (1,503,418), were reported for epidemiological week 33 (16 – 22 August 2021).
- This is a 4% decrease from the previous week when 1,573,086 tests were reported.
- The cumulative positivity rate is 11.7% and the test-per-case ratio is 8.6, similar to a positivity rate of 11.6% and test-per-case ratio is 8.6 in the previous week.
- 25% of Member States(14 countries) are reporting test positivity rates higher than 12%.
CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR MEMBER STATES
- Over the last 2 weeks, Africa CDC IPC webinars focused on “IPC-WASH in Healthcare Facilities”. A total of 1,915 participants were trained.
- In light of the ongoing VHF outbreaks, yesterday Africa CDC conducted a session on “Addressing COVID-19 and Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers- IPC considerations ”.
- The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) yesterday launched a new collaboration to strengthen community resilience and response to public health emergencies at community level. The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ramp up pandemic response—including testing support to countries; community mobilization; advocacy and scaling up of contact tracing. In addition to COVID-19, the collaboration includes other areas of public health.
Africa CDC and IFRC will strengthen investments in locally-led action—for prevention and response purposes—while working with governments to ensure they intensify efforts to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, Africa CDC and IFRC will scale up advocacy against vaccine wastage.
- @AfricaCDC is pleased to announce the inaugural One Health Conference 2021.
A One Health approach is critical to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and others.
This 3-day virtual event will take place from 01-03 November 2021, we encourage you all, members of the media and other key stakeholders to save the dates and visit our digital platforms for more information. https://sbs.co.za/africacdc2021/.
Increasing globalization, urban density, ease of travel, animal movement, environmental changes and habitat overlap between humans and animals, all provide opportunities for the emergence and spread of diseases that adversely impact both human and animal health, prosperity, and food security. COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease are two recent examples of how these various factors have directly impacted Africa. To combat these current outbreaks and get ahead of the next pandemic, a One Health approach must be taken.
In support of strengthening One Health across the continent, Africa CDC is holding this conference to showcase continental One Health research focusing on zoonotic disease surveillance and outbreak investigations, antimicrobial resistance, food safety, environmental health, and operational research through scientific presentations.
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE
- With regards to the current progress of vaccinations across the continent – as of August 9th, African Union Member States are reporting the following:
- Total vaccine doses supplied: 130 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been procured by 53 Member States.
- Total vaccine doses administered: 93.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, which corresponds to 71.85% of the total supply available in Africa.
- Coverage: 2.50% of the population has been fully vaccinated on the continent.
- The following five countries have administered the most vaccine doses in Africa.
|Country||Doses administered||% of the supply||% of Population fully vaccinated|
|South Africa||11.1 million||76.87%||8.67%|
More details are provided on our dashboard (https://africacdc.org/covid-19-vaccination/)
- Eritrea, and Burundi are the 2 remaining AU Member States yet to start COVID-19 vaccine roll out.
- USG DONATIONS
Togo (188K), Rwanda (489,060)
- UK DONATIONS (AZ)
Ghana (249K), Angola (128K), Nigeria (700K)
- CHINA DONATIONS
Rwanda- Sinopharm (200k)
- 23 August: Rwanda starts 3rd phase of vaccination campaigns targeting people over 18 years.
- 23 August: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
- 11 August: The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the next phase in its Solidarity trial: Solidarity PLUS will enroll hospitalized patients to test three new drugs in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. These therapies – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – were selected by an independent expert panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. They are already used for other indications: artesunate is used for severe malaria, imatinib for certain cancers, and infliximab for diseases of the immune system such as Crohn’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Previously, four drugs were evaluated by the trial. The results showed that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon had little or no effect on hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
COVID-19 TIERED PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL MEASURES FRAMEWORK FOR AFRICA
Dr. John Nkengasong
Director of Africa CDC
- In light of the surge of COVID-19 cases, highly transmissible variants, slow vaccine rollout and COVID-19 fatigue, public health and social measures (PHSMs) and clear, evidence-based guidance for their implementation are extremely important:
- 38 Member States have already experienced a third COVID-19 wave, and four are currently experiencing a fourth wave. Most (73%) of these waves have been more severe than the previous.
- 30 Member States report the presence of the Delta variant
- <2% vaccine coverage rate across the continent
- Completely opening or closing down countries with stringent PHSMs is no longer an option like it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Officials cannot just shut down society, but rather need layered policies appropriate for the COVID levels in-country
- The PHSM tiered framework is a proposal for Member States to use indicators and thresholds, which measure the ‘amount’ of COVID-19 in a country, to help determine which policies should be put in place.
- A similar approach has been used in South Africa with their alert system.
- These PHSM tiers are based on incidence and test positivity, but the guidance published is only recommendations — we hope that Member States will use this guidance to build their own indicators, threshold and policies.
- These proposed tiers should also be balanced with secondary impacts of PHSMs such as economic burdens, food security and access to essential health services, to ensure access to essential livelihoods
- This is one of the tools that Africa CDC has developed, in partnership with Resolve to Save Lives, that supports both the Prevention and Monitoring components of the Adapted Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Pandemic
Senior Vice President, Prevent Epidemics
Resolve to Save Lives
- The purpose of PHSM tiers is to provide a framework to support clear decision-making, improve accountability and provide clear, evidence-based guidance to communities to increase healthy behavior change.
- PHSMs should also be tailored to the smallest geographical region possible, for better response to hotspots and mitigation of secondary impacts.
- Effective PHSMs are:
- Easy to understand
- Customized to smallest geographic region
- Legal, with proper oversight
- Supported by wide dissemination of information that is easily accessible to the public
- Transparency in decision making and predictability can encourage engagement from communities, in that they will know what to expect based on data and clear decisions. This is critical to ensuring that PHSMs have value in disrupting transmission.
- Displaying and communicating the level of risk and the related PHSMs will support individual, business and community decision-making and can be adapted as vaccine rates increase or potential changes in transmission occur.
- The media has an important role to play in building trust and supporting clear, evidence-based communication with the public about what levels of PHSMs are in place, and why they change.
- PHSMs will be necessary to control transmission while vaccine coverage remains low; more equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa is crucial to improving coverage. For now, countries must continue to rely on PHSMs while pressing high-income countries and international mechanisms to improve vaccine supply and increase access.
Link to the PHSM Tiers framework:
- Africa CDC website: https://africacdc.org/download/covid-19-tiered-public-health-and-social-measure-framework-for-africa/
- RTSL/PERC website: https://preventepidemics.org/covid19/perc/phsm/