The Latest: Delta variant puts Africa at risk of third wave

The Latest: Delta variant puts Africa at risk of third wave


NAIROBI, Kenya — The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 20 countries across the continent of 1.3 billion people are in the grip of a “very devastating” third wave of COVID-19 infections and the Delta variant first identified in India “may have played a very significant role.”

John Nkengasong tells reporters that Africa has seen a 30% increase in new cases compared to the previous week.

Meanwhile, crucially, just 1% of the population on the continent has been fully vaccinated, and the World Health Organization says eight African countries have exhausted their stocks of vaccines.

“We are completely lagging behind, we just don’t have vaccines,” he said. “The third wave is extremely brutal.”

He said the peak of this third wave is “remarkably higher” than that of the second wave in Africa and more and more health centers are saying they are overwhelmed.

Africa has more than 5.2 million confirmed virus cases including more than 139,000 deaths.



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