The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday the 12 million still represents less than one percent of the continent’s population, but noted that the rollout of the vaccine was picking up.
She said 23 countries on the continent have used less than half of the doses they have received, including four countries that were experiencing a resurgence.
“These countries are facing logistical challenges, gaps in operational funding and vaccine hesitancy,” she said.
Dr. Moeti warned that Africa is facing a “full-blown third wave”. She called for urgent action to stop the situation from worsening to levels seen in other places, including India.
“COVID-19 cases are rising by over 20 percent week-on-week in 22 African countries. The DRC, Namibia and Uganda have passed their second wave peaks,” she said.
“New COVID-19 cases continent-wide are up by nearly 30 percent in the past week and deaths are up by 15 percent. At the continental level, we are seeing a rise in cases similar to the first wave peak in July 2020 and about 50% of the second wave peak in January 2021.”
By Friday, the number of COVID-19 infections in Africa had hit 5,108,888 with deaths exceeding 136,030, according to figures from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.