North Africa virus cases plummeting after summer spike

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The number of cases has declined sharply weeks after the surge in coronavirus cases has overwhelmed intensive care units throughout North Africa and severe oxygen deficiencies have caused public anger.

It shows the situation in the four Maghreb countries (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya) based on official figures collected by AFP.

Tunisia

Images of the intensive care unit overwhelmed by COVID patients in July caused anger in Tunisia. Tunisia has the highest per capita deaths from the virus in the region, with a population of 11.7 million and approximately 24,500.

At its peak, the latest waves saw over 55,000 new infections between July 7th and 13th. This is seven times the current number for the week. In the last 7 days, the virus has killed 342 people. This is only one-fifth of the victims of the last week of July.

Authorities responded to the surge with a strict evening curfew and travel ban. Neighboring Libya has closed its border with Tunisia. These measures are currently being mitigated.

Hechmi Louzir, director of the Pasteur Institute in Tunis, a member of the National Scientific Committee on Pandemics, said:

He told AFP that up to 60 percent of the population could be fully vaccinated by October, adding that numerous infections also increased immunity levels.

Tunisia has been vaccinated against its population earlier than any other African country in the past week, according to AFP figures, with 0.81 percent of its daily population being jabed.

Currently, more than a quarter of Tunisians are fully vaccinated.

Morocco

According to AFP figures, Morocco has a population of about 36 million and 13,800 COVIDs have died.

The kingdom is ahead of Maglev’s neighbors in vaccination, with 46.7 percent fully vaccinated.

Infectious diseases surged in Morocco after the curfew was relaxed and the border was opened to travelers in June. This allowed Moroccans in European countries to be hit hard by the highly infectious delta mutants and return home during the summer vacation.

The number of cases increased sharply, and about 70,000 new cases occurred in the first week of August. Authorities responded by imposing new curfew and restrictions on movements and rallies.

Health officials Abdelkrim Meziane Bellefquih said this week that infectious diseases have declined for the fifth straight week. However, in a comment reported by the official MAP news agency, he warned that “the high rates of serious cases and deaths continue to be recorded.”

The country has postponed the start of the new school year to October 1st and has begun a vaccination drive among teenagers.

Algeria

Algeria officially killed 5,650 people and announced in September a goal to vaccinate 70% of the 43.9 million population by the end of the year.

However, according to AFP figures, only 13% of the population was initially vaccinated this week, and less than 10% were fully vaccinated.

The number of cases in the country peaked in the last week of July with more than 10,000 infections, but then plummeted.

268 people died in the first week of August, but 132 people died in the last seven days.

Authorities hold a curfew, but beaches, entertainment venues and sports grounds will be reopened and spectators will be required to present a health pass. As with political protests, weddings remain banned.

Algeria resumed international flights in June after more than a year of suspension.

Libya

Libya, whose state agency has deteriorated after a decade of conflict, has officially recorded 4,500 COVID deaths out of 7 million people.

As in neighboring countries, peak infections have been reported and have declined sharply in recent weeks.

In the last week of July, 24,000 new cases and 204 deaths were recorded, but in the last 7 days, one-third of the cases and 83 deaths have been seen.

The vaccination campaign in the split country got off to a slow start, but on August 11th, a center was opened in the capital Tripoli, and 10 days later another center was opened in the eastern part of the country.

Over 18% of Libyan people have received their first jab, according to AFP tally.

However, the vaccines (Sinovac in China and Sputnik V in Russia) arrive in irregular batches, with only 2 percent of Rivian receiving two full doses.

Libyan health officials have pointed out that infections in the west have declined after the border with neighboring Tunisia was closed on July 8.

The frontier was reopened on Friday and strict health measures were taken to prevent further rises in cases.

Authorities fear that eastern Libya could see a rise similar to the surge in incidents in neighboring Egypt.


More than 200,000 deaths from COVID in Africa


© 2021 AFP

Quote: North African virus cases plunged after the summer surge (September 18, 2021) from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-north-africa-virus-cases-plummeting.html 2021 Obtained on September 18th

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