South Africa saw some 17,000 extra deaths from natural causes between early May and mid-July, 59% more than would normally be expected, according to a July report from the South African Medical Research Council. That suggests the death toll from COVID-19 could be significantly higher than the official figure, currently over 16,000, researchers say. Even so, there is wide agreement that COVID-19 fatality rates have not so far been as bad as predicted.
After three consecutive years of no recorded outbreak of polio, the World Health Organisation says Nigeria's wild polio-free status has been accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC). A delegation from the World Health Organisation will present the certification to Nigeria's President Buhari today. Anisur Rahman Siddique, Head of Immunization and Health Systems at UNICEF joins CNBC Africa for more.
“There are many vaccines under trial, a couple in the final stage of clinical trials - and there is hope. It does not mean that we will have the vaccine, but at least the speed with which we reached the level we reached now is unprecedented,” he said.
“Realistically it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated,” he told a public event on social media.
The United States, which leads with world with over 3.7 million cases, has also tried to curb the outbreak at the state and local levels with only limited success.
The African Union Commission said on Thursday it had launched a consortium for vaccine clinical trials to be headed by the Africa CDC, which aimed to secure more than 10 late stage vaccine clinical trials as early as possible.
The announcement follows strong criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which accused the WHO of being “China-centric”, and U.S. formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the U.N. agency in a year’s time.
It’s been almost three weeks since South Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trials began, we will be unpacking more on the progress of these trials as well as the latest emerging evidence brought to the attention of the World Health Organization regarding the airborne transmission of COVID-19. Joining CNBC Africa for more is Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand.