Africa’s third wave of COVID-19 pandemic is at a crossroads, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Thursday.
As the rate of new cases fell by less than two percent over the past week, driven by a sharp drop in South Africa, 21 countries are experiencing a resurgence, three more than last week, warned Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
“Let’s be under no illusions, Africa’s third wave is absolutely not over. The small step forward offers hope and inspiration but must not mask the big picture for Africa,” she noted.
Africa continues to lag behind in terms of the COVID-19 vaccination, Moeti said, explaining that only about 1.5 percent of the continent’s population are fully vaccinated so far.
“African countries must go all out and speed up their vaccine rollouts by 5 to 6 times if they are to get all these doses into arms and fully vaccinate the most vulnerable 10 percent of their people by the end of September,” she said.
“Vaccines are key to saving lives and blunting the pandemic, but we must remain focused on controlling the disease until vaccination coverage is increased,” Moeti said.