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Complacency Sets in Sub-Saharan Africa as Covid-19 Numbers Stall

With Zimbabwe’s coronavirus infections on the decline, schools are reopening, along with churches, bars, restaurants, airports and tourist attractions. Strict lockdowns designed to curb the disease are being replaced by a return to relatively normal life. The threat has eased so much that many people see no need to be cautious. As the global death toll from COVID-19 approaches 1 million, Zimbabwe and several other African countries have not experienced the widespread surges and many deaths that were predicted. That has invited complacency. Earlier this month, Zimbabwe went a week without recording any deaths from coronavirus, and new infections and deaths have declined, as in South Africa and Kenya. Africa’s surge has been leveling off, with its 1.4 million confirmed cases increasing relatively slowly. Antibody testing is expected to show many more infections, but most cases are asymptomatic. Just over 35,000 deaths have been confirmed on the continent of 1.3 billion people.