Six out of seven Covid 19 infections
they escape undetected in Africa

Brazzaville, October 14, 2021 - A new assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that only 14.2% - or one in seven - COVID-19 infections are detected in Africa. The head of the WHO Regional Office for Africa today announced a new initiative to improve community screening for COVID-19 in eight countries.

The WHO analysis used the COVID-19 calculator developed by Resolve to Save Lives which estimates infections based on the reported number of cases and deaths and a mortality rate from infection based on population-based studies. This analysis found that as of 10 October 2021 the cumulative number of COVID-19 infections is estimated at 59 million in Africa, seven times more than the more than 8 million reported cases.

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Countries participating in the program are Burundi, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Zambia.

Vaccination rates remain low, with only 30% of the continent's 54 nations having fully vaccinated 10% of their population against the disease, compared to nearly 90% in high-income countries.

Estimates show that between 65% and 85% of COVID-19 infections in Africa generate few or no symptoms. As a result, most Africans infected with the disease do not seek treatment in local health facilities where most of the tests now take place. However, asymptomatic individuals play a key role in facilitating transmission to vulnerable individuals who may suffer from serious illness or die.