Puzzled scientists seek reasons behind Africa's low fatality rates from pandemic
Cochin Herald|September - October 2020
Africa's overburdened public health systems, dearth of testing facilities and overcrowded slums had experts predicting a disaster when COVID-19 hit the continent.

The new coronavirus was already wreaking havoc in wealthy Asian and European nations, and a United Nations agency said in April that, even with social-distancing measures, the virus could kill 300,000 Africans this year.

In May the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that 190,000 people on the continent could die if containment measures failed. Yet as the world marks 1 million COVID-19 deaths, Africa is doing much better than expected, with a lower percentage of deaths than other continents. The continent's case fatality count stands at 2.4%, with roughly 35,000 deaths among the more than 1.4 million people reported infected with COVID-19, according to data. In North America, it is 2.9% and in Europe 4.5%

Hard-hit countries such as Italy and Britain have recorded fatality counts of 11.6% and 9.0% respectively, compared to 1.6% for Ethiopia, 1.9% for Nigeria and 2.4% for South Africa, the continent's worst affected country.

Hospitals in many African countries say COVID-19 admission rates are falling. Based on what we have seen so far it is unlikely that we are going to see anything at the scale that we are seeing in Europe - both in terms of infections and mortality, said Rashida Ferrand, a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor working at the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Experts say that some COVID-19 deaths in Africa probably are being missed. Testing rates in the continent of about 1.3 billion people are among the lowest in the world, and many deaths of all types go unrecorded.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM COCHIN HERALDView All

Lending a Bollywood twist to La Dolce Vita

A planned vacation to Italy turned into an unexpected twist of fate for Ambili Abraham. This is the story of Italy’s whirlwind romance with Bollywood dance and how she was at the centre of it all.

10+ mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

The Phantom of Hosur

Sandeep Menon braved odds when he quit his IT job to pursue his dreams. Today, as he rides into the fourth year of successfully running the Stallion Valley School of Lifestyle, he shares how he fearlessly pursued his passion of starting a horse riding academy

10 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Pandemic drives more people to risk lives in illegal mica mines

When the country went into lockdown last March and Tota Rai lost his cleaning job in the textile hub of Surat, he knew working in the illegal mica mining industry back home was his only option.

5 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Drumming up magical beats

In a freewheeling interview with Cochin Herald, Michael Benöhr - the wonderworker of percussion - talks about his musical sojourn, his two schools of music in London and how he beat pandemic blues

5 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

South Korean firm's smart dog collar tells owners what's in a bark

A South Korean startup has developed an AI-powered dog collar that can detect five emotions in canines by monitoring their barks using voice recognition technology.

1 min read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Thampi Antony: Keeping alive the Malayali roots

In a tete-a-tete with the multi-faceted Thampi Antony, Fred Cochin revives umpteen memories of their association, his acting, writing experiences and life in the US

5 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

ANSIF ASHRAF The Herald Man

A visionary beyond compare, one of the pioneers to take the plunge into eCommerce in India, a ‘mediapreneur’ with the eyes on the horizon, a magnanimous philanthropist and a noted orator, Cochin Herald Editor-in-Chief Ansif Ashraf, who met an untimely end on January 27, was a man for all seasons. Read about the fascinating and inspiring journey of this extraordinary man who showed how dreams can be translated into reality

10+ mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Wages for housewives: party's manifesto pledge stirs debate in country

A political party's pledge to pay housewives a monthly wage in recognition of their toil has sparked debate in the country with some critics saying the proposal might end up confining even more women to domestic chores.

2 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Stressed Out? Blame Bad Technology

There is no question that we are all more dependent on technology than ever. So what happens when that tech does not work?

3 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021

Science Must Determine Company Climate Targets, Say Executives

Companies must listen to scientists and align their plans to reach net zero targets with a global pact to fight climate change, said experts at a conference recently.

2 mins read
Cochin Herald
January - February 2021
RELATED STORIES

National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin

There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.

1 min read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
March - April 2021

AFRICA TRIES FREE TRADE

ECONOMIC NATIONALISM HAS plagued Africa since decolonization. In 2021, that is set to change.

4 mins read
Reason magazine
April 2021

Uncommon Dinosaurs

Southern Continents Reveal Uncommon Giants

10+ mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
December 2020

ZOISITE

A Massive Mineral Marked by Christmas- Like Color and Appeal

7 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
December 2020

Pittsburgh's August Wilson African American Cultural Center

LOCATED IN THE HEART of downtown Pittsburgh, on Liberty Avenue close to Union Station and the David Lawrence Convention Center, the sleek and elegant but unpretentious August Wilson African American Cultural Center (awaacc) cannot fail to capture the eye and the imagination of anybody who is visiting Pittsburgh or, for that matter, of anybody who lives in the city.

2 mins read
World Literature Today
Autumn 2020

AFRICA

Bishop Stephen Masilela is the general presbyter for the COGOP in Africa. He is also a counselor and registered marriage officer and currently serves as president for Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Africa. He holds a diploma in Personnel Management and Training (IPM) from Bible Training Institute and is enrolled with the Gordon Conwell/COGOP Leader of Leaders Master’s Degree program and the Extension School of Ministry of Swaziland College of Theology for a theology degree. He is married to Sibongile and they are blessed with three children.

3 mins read
White Wing Messenger
October 2020

NICOLE PATTON-TERRY READING RESEARCHER

Nicole Patton-Terry loves helping kids learn to read. She is associate director of the Florida Center for Reading Research at the Florida State University. Patton-Terry works on teams with researchers, students, teachers, designers, parents, and community members. Together they study reading and develop tools that help children read.

6 mins read
Muse Science Magazine for Kids
October 2020

‘THE 24TH' IS A SOBERING HISTORY LESSON FOR TODAY

On Aug. 23, 1917, four months after the U.S. had entered World War I, the all-Black 3rd battalion of the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Regiment mutinied in Houston.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #461

BEYONCÉ'S ‘BLACK IS KING' IS SUPREME BLACK ART

King Beyoncé’s new film takes you on a journey of Black art, music, history and fashion as the superstar transports you to Africa to tell the story of a young man in search of his crown, matched to epic songs she created while inspired by “The Lion King.”

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #458

BY THE SEAT OF OUR PANTS

My Africa Twin Adventure Sports was buried belly pan-deep in mud.

6 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
July - August 2020