Africa on 'destructive pathway' due to Delta variant, says WHO amid record surge

  • WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, told a press briefing that a 43% rise in Covid-19 deaths week-on-week has been recorded in the continent.
This week, Africa reached the sombre milestone of six million Covid-19 cases amid a low vaccination rate.(AP / File)
This week, Africa reached the sombre milestone of six million Covid-19 cases amid a low vaccination rate.(AP / File)
Published on Jul 15, 2021 04:59 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

African is witnessing an unprecedented resurgence of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases as the third wave of the pandemic continues its “destructive pathway” in the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, told a press briefing that the highly contagious Delta variant has been detected in 21 African countries, with a 43% rise in Covid-19 deaths week-on-week in the continent.

Moeti said that African has recorded an additional one million cases of coronavirus over the past month, the shortest time it has taken so far to add one million cases. The top WHO official said that the fresh surge, driven by the Delta variant, is brutally costing lives and the already stretched health systems are now buckling under the pressure of Covid-19.

“We’ve seen hospital admissions in around 10 countries increase rapidly and at least five countries, including SouthAfrica, Namibia and Zambia, are facing shortages of ICU beds,” she said, adding that oxygen production remains the “number one priority for African countries.”

This week, Africa reached the sombre milestone of six million Covid-19 cases amid a low vaccination rate. As per Our World in Data, African has administered at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to less than 3% of its total population, and the presence of the Delta variant could become a “toxic mixture” as warned by the WHO emergencies programme head Michael Ryan.

“Countries opening up who have very low levels of vaccination coverage in the presence of variants is a real toxic mixture for your hospitals filling up again. And this is something that must absolutely be avoided,” Ryan told a news conference in Geneva last week.

African countries are heavily dependent on COVAX, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, for vaccinating their citizens.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Arooj Abbas, 21, and Aneesa Abbas, 23.

    Pakistani-origin Spanish sisters tortured, shot dead for honour; 6 held: Reports

    Two days after two Pakistani-origin Spanish sisters were severely tortured and shot dead in the Gujrat district of Punjab province, police arrested six men from the same family on Sunday. Arooj Abbas, 21, and Aneesa Abbas, 23, were allegedly killed for refusing to bring their husbands — cousins from forced marriages — to Spain. News agency PTI reported that the sisters were found dead in their house.

  • The latest consignment reached Colombo on Sunday (Twitter/IndiainSL)

    After fresh aid reaches Colombo, Sri Lanka PM thanks MK Stalin, people of India

    Sri Lanka prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday thanked Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, as well as the people of India, after a fresh consignment, containing food items and milk, reached the crisis-hit country after being flagged off from Chennai, on May 18. The latest consignment was flagged by Tamil Nadu CM Stalin. India's southern state and the neighbouring country are only separated by the Palk Strait.

  • FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds a news briefing ahead of the 9th BRICS Summit, in Beijing, China August 30, 2017. China Daily via REUTERS (REUTERS)

    US-led Indo-Pacific strategy is a ploy to create divisions: China

    The US-led Indo-Pacific strategy is a ploy to create divisions and incite confrontation in the region, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday, adding that the plan is bound to fail. “Facts will prove that the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy is in essence a strategy to create division, to incite confrontation and to undermine peace,” Wang said.

  • A woman presenter for Tolo News, Sonia Niazi, covers her face in a live broadcast at Tolo TV station in Kabul on Sunday.

    ‘Forced to wear it’: Afghan women TV anchors cover faces on air 

    Days after the Taliban's latest order, women presenters on Afghanistan's top news channels went on air on Sunday with their faces covered. On Saturday, many of the news anchors had reportedly defied the diktat to conceal their appearance on TV but their employers had come under pressure. The Taliban's latest order was among the slew of restrictions, mostly targeting the rights of women and girls, they imposed since seizing powers of Afghanistan last year.

  • Australia's PM-designate Anthony Albanese after winning the general election at Marrickville Library and Pavilion in Sydney on May 22, 2022. (Photo by Wendell Teodoro / AFP)

    Australia elections 2022: The four key faces in PM-elect Anthony Albanese's govt

    Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese, who will be sworn in as Australia's 31st prime minister on Monday, after his party won Saturday's federal elections, will, soon after Albanese's swearing-in, leave for Tokyo, Japan, to attend a summit of the Quad group of nations. However, Albanese will not be the only Labor leader to take oath of allegiance on the day; four other party MPs will also be sworn-in.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 22, 2022