WHO: Africa facing rapid spread of third wave of COVID | Voice of America

The World Health Organization has said Africa is facing a third wave of COVID-19.

The WHO said cases had increased for five consecutive weeks, with 474,000 new cases since June 20. The increase indicates a faster spread than the continent’s second wave, which began earlier this year, the organization said.

The WHO blames “poor compliance with public health measures, increased social interactions and movements, as well as the spread of variants” for the new wave. The so-called delta variant, first detected in India, has been reported in 14 countries, the WHO said.

The lack of vaccines is also driving the wave. WHO said 18 countries have already used up nearly 80% of their supplies, while eight are completely depleted.

Only 1% of the African population has been fully immunized, the WHO said.

“The third wave came with a severity for which most countries were not prepared. So the third wave is extremely brutal, ”John Nkengasong, director of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), said in a weekly online briefing, according to Reuters.

He reiterated the need for rapid access to more vaccines.

This report includes information from Reuters.

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