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Most developed African countries hit hardest by Covid

Countries in Africa rated as being better prepared for a pandemic were the worst hit by Covid-19, a study has suggested.

Nations in the World Health Organisation’s Africa Region assessed as having more resilient health systems and the least vulnerable to infectious disease had higher mortality rates and higher levels of restrictions imposed, the findings indicated.

Predictors of higher death rates included large urban populations, stronger pre-pandemic international travel links, and a higher prevalence of HIV among the 42 nations evaluated.

The research, led by the University of Edinburgh and the WHO African Region body, offers “compelling results which challenge accepted views of epidemic preparedness and resilience in Africa”, study authors say.

Findings show South Africa had the highest mortality rate during the first wave between May and August last year, at 33.3 deaths recorded per 100,000 people.

Cape Verde and Eswatini, commonly known as Swaziland, had the next highest rates at 17.5 and 8.6 deaths per 100,000, respectively. Uganda recorded the lowest mortality rate at 0.26 deaths recorded per 100,000, in the first wave.

South Africa has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, despite strict restrictions Credit: Gallo Images