WHO warns of third Covid-19 wave in Africa
Nairobi, Jun 3 (EFE).- The World Health Organization warned Thursday of a third wave of Covid-19 infections that is currently hitting countries like Kenya and South Africa and is threatening the rest of the African continent, where vaccines are scarce.
In the last two weeks, Africa recorded a 20% increase in new coronavirus infections in comparison with the previous two weeks, according to a WHO report.
The pandemic is therefore still spreading in 14 African countries, eight of which have registered a more than 30% increase in infection rates.
Uganda suffered a 131% increase last week, with Covid-19 spreading through schools, healthcare workers and isolation centres.
According to the UN agency, failure to comply with safety measures and high social interactivity, along with the arrival of the winter season in the south of the continent, have allowed Covid-19 infections to balloon in many African countries.
“The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising,” said Thursday WHO regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti during a press conference.
“Vaccines are key to staving off a new surge and keeping the most vulnerable Africans out of critical care,” she said.
The delivery of Covid-19 vaccines has slowed down, in part due to the serious crisis in India, which produces a large share of the doses that were expected to arrive in Africa but has suspended the donations to attend to its own needs.
So far, Africa, home to some 1.3 billion people, has received 53.5 million doses and has used a total of 38.1 million across 50 countries, according to data from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moeti highlighted the fact that many states already have the privilege to consider vaccinating their children, whereas African countries are still struggling to administer second doses to high-risk patients.