Delta variant driving up COVID-19 case counts, fatalities in Africa

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Pushed by the delta variant, a brand new wave of COVID-19 is sweeping throughout the African continent the place new circumstances, hospital admissions and deaths are rising.

South Africa is main the brand new surge in Africa, the place case numbers are doubling each three weeks, in line with the World Well being Group.

“The velocity and scale of Africa’s third wave is like nothing we have seen earlier than,” mentioned Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa.

The delta variant, reported in 16 African international locations, has change into dominant in South Africa, which accounts for greater than half of Africa’s new circumstances.

It was detected in 97 per cent of samples sequenced in Uganda and in 79 per cent of samples sequenced in Congo, in line with WHO.

“The rampant unfold of extra contagious variants pushes the menace to Africa as much as an entire new stage,” Moeti mentioned in an announcement.

“Extra transmission means extra severe sickness and extra deaths, so everybody should act now and enhance prevention measures to cease an emergency turning into a tragedy.”

Way more vaccination wanted

Lower than two per cent of Africa’s 1.3 billion folks have obtained even one dose of a vaccine.

With greater than 20,000 new circumstances reported Friday, South Africa’s whole of 1.9 million circumstances, together with 66,323 deaths, represents greater than 30 per cent of the 5.5 million circumstances reported by Africa’s 54 international locations, which have a inhabitants of 1.3 billion folks, in line with the Africa Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

A household walks previous a mural selling vaccination for COVID-19 in Duduza township, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 23. (Themba Hadebe/The Related Press)

Johannesburg and the encompassing Gauteng province are South Africa’s epicentre with its hospitals reaching 91 per cent capability and 5,500 further well being staff deployed, the well being division introduced Friday.

Workers at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, about 170 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, say they’re battling to deal with the brand new surge.

“With this new pressure within the third wave, I believe it is extra aggressive than the second,” mentioned Onthatile Mmusi, a nurse at Tshepong Hospital. “We are inclined to get sufferers and once they come of their oxygen ranges are already down.”

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