Africa not ready for imminent third coronavirus wave- WHO

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Africa is not ready to face a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World

Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday, as the continent is hit by a fresh surge of infections and with vaccine deliveries at a near standstill.

“Many African hospitals and clinics are still far from ready to cope with a huge rise in critically-ill patients,” WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said, adding that “The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising.”

Africa has officially registered over 4.8 million cases and 130,000 deaths, according to the WHO, representing 2.9% of global cases and 3.7% of deaths.

“Treatment is the last line of defence against this virus and we cannot let it be breached,” Moeti emphasised, calling for better equipment for hospital and medical staff.

South Africa, officially the most affected country on the continent, now has more than 1.6 million cases and 56,439 deaths.

In Uganda, the number of cases has jumped by over 131% in one week with outbreaks in schools and an increase in cases among health workers.

WHO said it detected a surge late last month in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Angola and Namibia are also seeing a resurgence.

The UN health agency said it hopes for new Covid-19 vaccines deliveries for Africa in the coming months through the international Covax scheme, including a pledge of 80 million doses from the United States.

Only 2% of Africans to date have received at least one vaccine jab.

Four African countries- Tanzania, Burundi, Chad and Eritrea have not kicked off inoculations.

 

Edited by Olajumoke Adeleke

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