The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Africa is in the middle of a full-blown Covid-19 wave, adding that there is need for more vaccination.
“Africa needs millions of more doses here and now,” BBC quoted WHO’s Africa Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti as saying.
The report said that South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt had recorded the most virus cases.
In a statement on Thursday, WHO said Covid-19 cases in Africa were surging by over 20% week-on-week as the continent’s third wave gained pace and neared the first wave peak of more than 120 000 weekly cases recorded in July 2020.
Cases rose to over 116,500 in the week ending on 13 June, up from the previous week’s nearly 91,000 cases. https://t.co/9wv3YFaHLv
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) June 17, 2021
“Africa is in the midst of a full-blown third wave. The sobering trajectory of surging cases should rouse everyone into urgent action. We’ve seen in India and elsewhere just how quickly Covid-19 can rebound and overwhelm health systems. So public health measures must be scaled up fast to find, test, isolate and care for patients, and to quickly trace their contacts,” Moeti said.
Along with other factors, a lack of adherence to transmission prevention measures had fuelled the new surge that coincided with colder seasonal weather in southern Africa, as more contagious variants spread.
“The Delta variant has been reported in 14 African countries and the Alpha and Beta variants have been found in over 25 African countries,” said WHO.
The health organisation said Africa’s rollout was picking-up speed, with over five million doses administered in the past five days, compared with around 3.5 million doses per week for the past three weeks.
“Almost 12 million people are now fully vaccinated, but this is still less than 1% of Africa’s population,” said WHO.