According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent findings, the number of unreported instances of COVID-19 infections among Africa’s 1.3 billion population is significantly higher than previously reported.
“New WHO analyses show that over two-thirds of the people on the African continent may have acquired a certain level of immunity following exposure to the COVID-19-virus,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said on Thursday, April 7.
She said the official data just touched the surface of the problem, referring to an unpublished WHO report.
The true number of infected people could be 97 times larger than the number of confirmed cases.
“This compares to the global average, where the true number of infections is about 16 per cent higher than the number of confirmed, reported cases,” Moeti said.
Africa has officially recorded 11.5 million infections, with 250,000 of them resulting in death.
Despite the larger numbers, she claimed there was no need to be concerned, citing Africa’s relatively young population as an example.
However, extensive testing and vaccination remained a top focus.
She also emphasised that many African health crises can now be linked back to climatic factors.
According to a new study issued by the WHO, the continent’s entire health foundation is under threat from increasingly extreme climate events.
As a result of this, African countries’ understanding of climate change has increased.
Meanwhile, an agreement to provide $10 billion in U.S. funding for COVID-19 aid has been reached in the USA Senate; lawmakers said on Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the chamber, and Republican Senator Mitt Romney hailed the deal; but Schumer said he was disappointed had not also been reached.
The deal provides $10 billion in funding for COVID needs and therapeutics; by repurposing unspent COVID funds.
It is well below the $22.5 billion the Biden administration had sought.
Senate Republicans demanded any new requests for COVID funding; be paid for by repurposing existing funds from prior COVID relief funds.