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Covid in Africa: ‘The number of bodies is jaw-dropping’ — but we don’t know the truth


The cemetery in Medani, a Sudanese city on the banks of the Blue Nile, is bustling. Vehicles bearing the dead rumble back and forth to the burial site in an almost continual procession. Masanik, 22, a nurse who lives next to the cemetery, knows only too well what keeps the grave diggers so busy. She works as a volunteer at an “isolation centre” where the oxygen needed to keep Covid sufferers alive often runs out. “I feel like the world will end soon because of the big number of deaths we’re seeing,” she told me. “The hospitals are full, they’re turning people away. This virus has hit us really hard.” Another volunteer, Rana, 24, said: “I’ve seen a lot of people die. Some are young, like me. It’s hard to watch.” Such bleak testimony challenges the claim that Africa has escaped the worst of the havoc wrought by Covid-19 on other parts of the world from India to America.

The Times - May 2, 2021

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