The third wave of the COVID-19 infections in Africa appear to be levelling as millions of people get the shot across the continent.
During a virtual briefing on the status of the pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said that 24 countries were however seeing a resurgence of infections and that deaths were rising in eight countries. Almost 248,000 new Covid-19 infections were reported in the past week alone.
“This is a preventable tragedy if African countries can get fair access to the vaccines,” Dr Moeti said.
As of August 26, confirmed cases of Covid-19 from 55 African countries reached over 7.6 million.
Across the continent, at least 60.7 million vaccinations have been administered.
South Africa has the most reported cases with 2.7 million. Other most-affected countries are Morocco 829,137, Tunisia 647,483, Libya 300,455, Ethiopia 300,092, Egypt 287,000 cases.
Reported deaths in Africa reached 191,685 and 6,720,884 people have recovered.
In Kenya, the total caseload rose to 232,869 after 817 people tested positive for the virus, posting a positivity rate 12.9 per cent in the last 24 hours.
From the latest statistics by the Ministry of Health, the total fatalities hit 4,635 after 35 patients succumbed to the virus.
Dr Moeti said 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the past week, triple that of the previous week.
She said many of the doses came from donations and sharing arrangements through the WHO-administered COVAX vaccine cooperative.
She added that 117 million doses were due to arrive in Africa in the coming month. But to meet the goal of having at least 10 per cent of the continent vaccinated by the end of September, she said, another 34 million doses will be needed.
Forward, the WHO Africa head is urging the nations with ample supplies to keep sharing doses.
She said, “with international solidarity we can protect those at highest risk of COVID-19 in all countries in the world.”
She also encouraged African governments to ensure that staffing and financial resources were available when shots arrived “to get vaccines into the arms of our populations adding that precious doses should be wasted.”