Covid, lockdowns and vaccines: Why Africa shouldn’t copy the West: Since COVID19 began spreading across the globe last year, every government in the world has had to decide on the best way to handle the Pandemic. Weighing up a variety of factors, some – such as East Asian countries and various island states – have pursued elimination strategies to pursue “zero Covid”. Others – such as Europe, the Americas and India – have imposed on-and-off lockdowns in response to repeated waves of surging cases and deaths.

One of the outliers of either of these trends has been Africa. Many countries on the continent were quick to lockdown early in the pandemic, but soon opened up when this became economically unbearable. Yet unlike elsewhere in the world, this hasn’t resulted in huge increases in cases or deaths.

According to the latest figures, 120,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Africa. This is a huge and tragic number, but in South America, whose population is less than half the size of Africa’s, the death toll has been nearly five times higher. Europe, whose population is less than two-thirds of Africa’s, has seen over eight times the number of deaths.


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