Africa Struggling With Third Wave Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Worst One Yet - WHO

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th June, 2021) Africa is in the midst of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases surge weekly and are on course to overtake the second wave at its peak if the trend continues, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Thursday.

"Africa is facing a fast-surging third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, with cases spreading more rapidly and projected to soon overtake the peak of the second wave the continent witnessed at the start of 2021," the statement said.

According to the WHO, the number of infections in Africa has been increasing for five consecutive weeks since the onset of the third wave in early May. As of June 20, the continent reported 470,000 new cases, which is a 21% increase compared to the same period during the second wave.

The resurgence of the pandemic has been observed in 12 African countries due to poor safety measures, low vaccination rates, increased social interaction and spread of new strains, including the more viral Delta variant.

The WHO has urged African countries to increase efforts to combat the virus, and has also extended aid to the worst-hit countries, such as Uganda and Zambia.

Currently, just above 1% of Africa's population has been vaccinated, the WHO stressed. The agency has further called on high-income countries, in particular, the EU, to approve all vaccines from the WHO emergency use list and to prevent unfair restriction of movement for people from countries that have limited access to vaccines.