Fifteen countries face a third wave
The number of cases continues to rise in Africa with a third wave accelerating. Last week, 122,280 new contaminations were identified, an increase of 29% compared to the previous week. A figure which is approaching the peak reached during the first wave in the summer of 2020. The number of deaths has increased by 19%.
This development is partly linked to the spread of variants, which are much more contagious, across the continent. The Delta variant, detected in India, is now present in 14 countries, while the Alpha and Beta variants (identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa) circulate in 30 and 29 countries out of 55 respectively.
According to the WHO, this increase is also explained by colder seasonal weather in southern Africa, which promotes contamination, but also to insufficient compliance with health measures. More than 40% of new cases have been reported in South Africa.
“This trend should push everyone to action (…). Public health measures must be rapidly reinforced to identify, isolate and manage patients. Their contacts must be sought ”, Insisted the director of WHO in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, during her weekly press conference on Thursday. Only 0.79% of the continent’s population has been fully vaccinated.
Tanzania to join the Covax scheme
The country transmitted this week a request form to integrate Covax, the international device for access to vaccines. ” We are counting on the arrival of vaccines in the country in the next two weeks ”Said Richard Mihigo, WHO Regional Immunization Coordinator in Africa. The Tanzanian authorities must first prepare their vaccination campaign.
The publication of figures is also expected to help identify the scale of the epidemic and the country’s needs. The latest dates back to the spring of 2020. President John Magufuli (who died in March) then refused to release any new information, claiming that the epidemic had been eliminated “Thanks to the prayers of the Tanzanians”.