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Zambian Covid-19 Cases May Have Been 92 Times More Than Reported

  • Zambia’s young population meant many cases were asymptomatic
  • Southern African nation is yet to start a vaccination program
A woman wearing a face mask buys oranges at a market in Lusaka, Zambia.
A woman wearing a face mask buys oranges at a market in Lusaka, Zambia.

Photographer: Martin Mbangweta/Xinhua/Getty Images

Coronavirus cases in Zambia from March to July may have been 92 times higher than official statistics showed, according to estimates from a study published in the Lancet Global Health journal.

Researchers tested people for infection in six districts across the southern African nation in July, and used the results to estimate a total of 454,708 cases for the period. That compared with the government’s official number of 4,917 infections.