Africa has just lived through its most devastating week of the pandemic, but the worst is yet to come as the third wave gathers pace on the continent, the World Health Organization said.
“Africa has just marked the continent’s most dire pandemic week ever. But the worst is yet to come as the fast-moving third wave continues to gain speed and new ground,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa.
Cases are doubling every 18 days, compared with every 21 days only a week ago, she said during a virtual press conference, adding that “the end to this precipitous rise is still weeks away.”
Coronavirus cases have been rising in Africa since the start of the third wave on the continent on May 3. During the week ending July 4, more than 251,000 new Covid-19 cases were recorded on the continent, a 20% increase over the previous week and a 12% jump from the previous January peak.
Sixteen African countries are now seeing a resurgence of the virus, with the more contagious Delta strain detected in 10 of them.
South Africa is the worst-hit country in Africa, with new daily infections hitting record highs of 26,000 cases over the weekend, fuelled by the Delta variant.
Source: The East African