Covid spreading in Africa at a record pace says WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Thursday that a delta variant of the coronavirus is advancing a pandemic in Africa at record speed.
In Africa, infections have increased for the sixth straight week, reaching nearly 202,000 in the week ending Sunday, a quarter-week increase.
Weekly records on the continent currently stand in 224,000 new cases.
Deaths during the same period increased by 15% to nearly 3,000 in 38 African countries.
“The speed and magnitude of the third wave in Africa is unprecedented,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Director of Africa for Africa, in a statement.
Highly contagious delta mutants have been reported in 16 countries, accounting for 97% of samples sequenced in Uganda and 79% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Africa’s oxygen demand is 50% higher than it was at the peak of the first wave a year ago.
“The epidemic of more contagious variants is taking the threat to Africa to a whole new level,” Moetti said.
“More infections mean more serious illnesses and more deaths, so everyone must act now and strengthen precautions to prevent emergencies from becoming tragedy.”
The head of the fight against COVID in the Democratic Republic of the Congo warned of a “catastrophe” if Delta variants continue to spread rapidly in the country.
“Our hospital was overwhelmed, the morgue was flooded, many politicians and university professors were infected with the virus, and many died,” said Jean-Jacques, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Sciences (INRB). Muembe said online. WHO-sponsored press conference.
African countries are suffering from a serious shortage of COVID vaccines.
According to WHO, only 15 million people are fully vaccinated (only 1.2 percent of Africa’s population