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Supply of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients critical in Africa

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Africa does not have an adequate oxygen supply to treat all patients during the second wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said on Thursday.

“Access to oxygen is becoming a huge critical need across the continent,” said Africa CDC director John Nkengasong at an online press briefing.

African countries urgently needed to establish international partnerships to boost the supply of oxygen, similar to what was being done to supply other medical equipment and medication to treat COVID-19 patients, Nkengasong said.

In a separate briefing, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, also warned that the availability of sufficient oxygen is starting to be a challenge in some cases.

Africa has so far recorded roughly 3.3 million Coronavirus cases and more than 81,800 related deaths.

Currently, the death rate from COVID-19 in Africa is 2.5 per cent, higher than the global average of 2.2 per cent, said Nkengasong.

With around 1.3 million cases, South Africa is the nation with the most infections on the continent.

Halima Sheji

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