WHO Africa : Continent amid full-blown third wave of COVID

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the continent is “in the midst of a full-blown third wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over five million Africans have contracted the disease. Almost 136,000 have lost their lives so far.

“New cases, continent wide are up by nearly 30% in the past week and deaths are up by 15%,” said WHO Africa Regional Director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

Lack of adherance to transmission preventive measures is believed to have fuelled this escalation.

Moeti mentions about India and other countries, how quickly COVID-19 overwhelms the health systems, putting a stiff mark on the country’s economic status.

According to The Telegraph report, surge to vaccination drives in Europe – all richer parts of the country, has left the poorer nations, and most of Africa remains barely protected.

Most African countries completely rely on the Covax-led vax distribution scheme.

“Unfortunately, 23 countries have used less than half of the doses they have received, including four of the countries experiencing a resurgence. These countries are facing logistical challenges, gaps in operational funding & vaccine hesitancy.” – Moeti added.

Besides, the more transmissible Delta variant has severely affected the continent. This variant is reported in 14 African countries. While, the Alpha and Beta variants – first detected in Britain and South Africa respectively have been found in over 25 African countries.

Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia have been considered as the worst-affected countries of the continent.

Moeti discussed on the significance of myriad vaccine doses, if the continent needs to curb the impending third wave of the pandemic. “Almost 12 million people are now fully vaccinated, but this is still less than 1% of Africa’s population.” – she added.

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