Over the last three weeks, Africa has witnessed an exponential increase in the number of coronavirus cases with the new Delta variant of the coronavirus strain spreading across 16 nations and showcasing its presence in three out of five countries that are reporting high number of cases.
According to reports, the delta variant is considered the most contagious yet with nearly 60% more transmissibility as compared to other variants.
As per the World Health Organization, Africa is witnessing an aggressive third wave of COVID-19 infections, with the number of cases rising faster than all other peaks.
Recently, WHO experts warned that the number of caseloads has increased for six consecutive weeks, reaching a total of 202,000 positive cases. Last week, the total percentage of death also increased by 15% across 38 African nations, to approximately 3,000.
Delta strain that has originated from India is now dominant in South Africa, responsible for over half of Africa’s total COVID-19 cases last week. It is worth mentioning that the variant was detected in nearly 97% of the samples taken in Uganda and 79% of those sequenced in Congo.
As per reports, the new strain is also largely affecting young adults. WHO experts claimed that nearly 66% of the people under 45 years of age in Uganda have been affected by the Delta variant.
According to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for WHO Africa, the speed and scale of Africa’s third wave is rapidly increasing and has emerged as one of the most contagious variants posing a great threat to Africa. Increasing transmission will lead to serious illness and more deaths, hence the people of Africa have been directed to follow strict safety guidelines to prevent any form of tragedy, Dr. Moeti added.
Reportedly, with the increase in cases and the consequent hospitalization across the African continent, WHO projects that the demand for oxygen in Africa is now 50% more than the first wave peak. Another major factor leading to the high COVID-19 cases in the region is the lack of supply of vaccine slots.
Source Credit: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/07/1095152