Fueled by the delta variant, a new wave of COVID-19 is sweeping the African continent, with new cases of infection, hospitalizations and deaths rising.
“The speed and scale of the third wave in Africa has not been seen before,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
According to the World Health Organization, South Africa is leading another increase in Africa, where the number of cases will double every three weeks.
Delta variants reported from 16 African countries dominate South Africa and account for more than half of the new cases in Africa. According to WHO, it was detected in 97% of sequenced samples in Uganda and in 79% of sequenced samples in Congo.
“The rampant spread of infection has taken the threats facing Africa to a whole new level,” Murti said in a statement. “More spread means more serious diseases and more deaths, so everyone must take immediate action and strengthen preventive measures to prevent the emergency from turning into a tragedy.”
Of the 1.3 billion people in Africa, less than 2% have received a dose of the vaccine.
According to data from the African Centers for Disease Control, on Friday more than 20,000 new cases were reported and in South Africa there were 1.9 million cases, of which 66,323 were fatal, which is more than 30% of the 5 million cases reported in 54 countries in Africa , representing 1.3 billion people and prevention.
The South African Ministry of Health announced on Friday that Johannesburg and the surrounding Gauteng province is the epicenter of South Africa, with a hospital capacity of 91% and an additional 5,500 health workers deployed.
Staff at Chebung Hospital in Klerksdorp, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of Johannesburg, said they are struggling to deal with the new wave.
“Because of this new strain in the third wave, I think it is more aggressive than the second wave. We tend to receive patients and by the time they arrive, their oxygen levels have already gone down..”