An employee of a Tunisian municipality who saw a COVID-19 victim’s casket being carried in a local hospital during a coronavirus infection.
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Africa, where less than 2% of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, has experienced the worst surge in cases since the pandemic began last week, according to the World Health Organization.
The second largest continent recorded more than 251,000 new Covid cases in the week ending July 4, up 20% from the previous week and 12% from its January peak. According to a BBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, active cases in Africa have recently exceeded 642,000, above the peak of the second wave of 528,000 active cases in January.
“Africa has just entered its most disastrous pandemic week on the African continent, but the worst is yet to come as the fast-moving third wave continues to speed up and build new horizons. “No,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Director of Africa. “The end of this surge is still a few weeks away. Cases are now doubling every 18 days compared to every 21 days just a week ago.”
Security guards will measure a man’s temperature at the market entrance in Kampala, Uganda, on June 20, 2021.
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New cases are increasing in more than 16 African countries, including Malawi and Senegal. More contagious delta variants have been detected in at least 10 of these countries.
Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Zambia, Rwanda and Tunisia also have the worst rises in infectious diseases, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization has increased by more than 40% across the continent in recent weeks.
“The alarm bell should ring,” says Dr. Tom Kenyon, Chief Health Officer at Project HOPE and former director of the Global Health Center at the US CDC. He said the proportion of new cases in Africa will soon exceed that of Asia. “Given the horror we have just seen in India, it should be a source of alertness and stimulus for action.”
He said Covid’s emergency in Africa “could be worse than anywhere else we’ve seen.”
South Africa is currently tackling a catastrophic third wave of infection after the Delta Variant returned the country to blockade on June 28. A curfew at 9 pm local time is currently in place in the country, but less than 1% of residents are vaccinated against Covid. Throughout the continent, less than 2% of the total population is vaccinated. This is because poor countries are waiting for life-saving shots due to the delay in the deployment of international vaccines. The 50 million doses given so far in Africa account for only 1.6% of the doses given worldwide.
Residents will be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca PlcCovid-19 vaccine at Mbagati Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
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“Vaccine nationalism, with a small number of countries occupying the largest share, is a morally undefendable and ineffective public health strategy,” WHO Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes said in a press conference Wednesday. Stated. Ghebreyesus also blamed the lack of fairness of the “wave of death” vaccine in parts of the world, including Africa.
Vaccine delivery via Covax, a global initiative designed to ensure fair access to the Covid vaccine, has only recovered after a few months delay. Over 1.6 million doses are expected to be delivered to Africa through the initiative, and more than 20 million Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines are expected to be delivered to the African continent soon. Norway and Sweden also donate large amounts of vaccines to Africa.
“Vaccines are scheduled to be delivered in August, but far from what we need,” said Kenion, CDC country director in Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia. “To be successful, vaccine supply must be combined with a trained workforce and delivery system.”
A total of 66 million doses have been delivered to Africa, 40 million doses have been obtained through bilateral transactions, 25 million doses have been delivered through COVAX, and 800,000 doses have been delivered by the African Union African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team. It was supplied.
“African countries need to use this time to prepare for rapid expansion of deployment, as delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to arrive in July and August, is much higher,” Moeti said. Says. By comparison, according to US CDC data, the US administers approximately 332 million shots to 55% of the population.
Workers at Rufin Gloring Mills will load oxygen tanks into vehicles distributed free of charge to various hospitals in Uganda at a factory in Namanve, Wakiso, Uganda, on June 29, 2021.
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