Two-Third Africans may have had COVID-19: WHO Reports

Johannesburg: According to the reports of World Health Organizations, which suggest that more than two-thirds of Africans may have come in touch with COVID-19 in the past two years, nearly 97 times more than reported infections. 

Laboratory tests have identified 11.5 million COVID-19 cases and 252,000 fatalities across the African continent; according to the report, 800 million people may have been infected by September of last year.

However, the WHO region study, which is still ongoing and reviewed, suggests the officially confirmed numbers were likely only scraping the surface of the actual dimensions of coronavirus infections in Africa”.

According to WHO Africa ‘Matshidiso Moeti,’ “A new meta-analysis of the standardised seroprevalence study showed that the exact number of infections could be as much as 97 times more than the number of authorised reported cases.”

Furthermore, she added that this report suggests that more than two-thirds of all Africans have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. 

The report examined over 150 studies published between January 2020 and December of the previous year. It found that exposure to the virus increased from 3% in June 2020 to 65% by September of last year.

“In real terms, this means that instead of the reported 8.2 million cases, there will be 800 million in September 2021,” Moeti explained.

The global average of accurate infection numbers is believed to be 16 times higher than the number of confirmed reported cases.

The testing procedure is limited for much of Africa’s populations; that is why many infections go undetected, as testing is mainly carried out on symptomatic patients in hospitals and travellers requiring negative PCR results. 

When there were challenges in accessing testing supplies, the goal was to test people who were symptomatic, which resulted in “under-representing the true number of people who have been exposed and are infected by the virus,” Moeti told journalists.