Vaccination rates are increasing in Africa and health systems are now working much more effectively. The WHO suspects that this could significantly reduce the number of corona deaths in the country.

Corona-related deaths in Africa are expected to fall by almost 94 percent this year compared to 2021. This was announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.

The number of corona infections in the region is expected to fall by more than a quarter this year.

With 350,000 deaths – or 970 deaths per day – 2021 was the deadliest year of the pandemic in Africa, mostly due to the delta variant, said WHO regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti. According to scientific models, around 23,000 corona-related deaths (or 60 per day) can be expected by the end of this year as long as current variants and transmission dynamics remain constant, Moeti said.

Overall, the WHO expects 166.2 million corona infections in the region this year, compared to 227.5 million last year. This is thanks to rising vaccination rates, better prepared health systems and a surge in natural immunity, Moeti said. However, the number of unreported cases of corona in Africa remains high: according to the WHO, only one in 71 corona diseases is reported.