Africa Facing 'Brutal',Third Wave Of Pandemic,Vaccination

Africa Facing ‘Brutal’ Third Wave Of Pandemic As Vaccination Slows

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 07:57 am

Africa is facing a vicious coronavirus resurgence. With just under 5.3 million reported cases and around 139,000 deaths among its nearly 1.3 billion people, it is now seeing the Delta variant of virus in people.

With unprecedented hospital admissions and fatalities pushing health facilities to the brink, the continent falls far behind in the global vaccination drive and their rollouts. WHO Officer said that this third wave is picking up speed, spreading faster, hitting harder, and the latest surge threatens to be Africa’s worst yet.

Liberia’s President George Weah has warned the wave is far more alarming than a year ago as hospitals overflow in his country. Doctors in South Africa, which accounts for more than 35 per cent of all cases recorded on the continent, are struggling with an unprecedented influx of patients. Even this year the hospital system is not coping with the surged amount of cases.

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According to the UN organization, a combination of factors is fuelling this new wave of infections, including low compliance with public health measures, high social interaction, and the spread of variants. Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, have been diagnosed with 77 per cent and 97 per cent of cases that are related to the Delta variant.

WHO asserts by saying that this resurgence of Covid-19 in Africa comes as vaccine shortages persist on the continent where only “slightly more than 1 percent of the African population has been fully vaccinated”. And vaccine shortages are already prolonging the pain of Covid-19 in Africa. They need international solidarity to deal with the pandemic.  

On the other hand, several countries have failed to administer jabs from the UN-backed Covax scheme before their use-by date because of logistical failures and vaccine hesitancy. Surprisingly, Malawi destroyed 20,000 expired AstraZeneca doses in May, while South Sudan has returned more than two million shots to the UN to avoid a similar scenario.