North Africa COVID cases is declining after summer spike

Weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases overwhelmed intensive care units across North Africa with severe oxygen shortages sparking public anger, case numbers are sharply declining.

Images of intensive care units overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients in July in Tunisia, which has suffered the region’s highest per capita deaths from the virus, with about 24,500 in a population of 11.7 million.

At its peak, the latest wave saw more than 55,000 new infections between July 7 and 13 – a weekly figure seven times the current rate. The past seven days saw 342 deaths from the virus – just a fifth of the toll in the last week of July.

Morocco has seen 13,800 COVID deaths in its population of approximately 36 million, according to AFP figures.

The kingdom is ahead of its Maghreb neighbours in inoculations, with 46.7 percent fully vaccinated.

With an official death toll of 5,650, Algeria announced a target in September to vaccinate 70 percent of its nearly 43.9 million people by the end of the year.

But AFP figures show that this week, barely 13 percent of the population had received a first vaccine jab, with fewer than 10 percent fully vaccinated.

The country’s caseload peaked in the last week of July with more than 10,000 infections, but has since plummeted.

While the first week of August saw 268 deaths, the last seven days saw 132.

Libya, where state institutions have been degraded by a decade of conflict, has officially recorded 4,500 COVID deaths among its seven million people.

Like its neighbours, it has reported a peak in infections followed by a sharp drop in recent weeks.

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