As per WHO the African continent is facing the heat of new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus. The recent spike in the infection rate and the death rate has indicated the fuelling of second wave in the continent.
The infection rate in the region has gone up by 50% between 29th December, 2020 to 25th January, 2021 as compared to the previous four weeks. The region got more than 175,000 new cases and deaths near to 6,200 in the week ending Thursday.
With surging infection rates in 22 countries, the increased causalities are concentrated in mainly 10 southern and north African nations. Addressing a virtual press conference, WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said, “The variant which was first detected in South Africa has spread quickly beyond Africa and so what’s keeping me awake at night right now is that it’s very likely circulating in a number of African countries”.
WHO also confirmed that, the variant first identified in South Africa is leading the infection rates in the region along with the 24 nations outside Africa. In Africa, it has now spread to Kenya, Ghana, the French Indian Ocean region of Mayotte, Zambia and Botswana.
Dr. Moeti also stated, “In addition to the new variants, COVID-19 fatigue, and the aftermath of year-end gatherings risk powering a perfect storm and driving up Africa’s second wave and overwhelming health facilities”.
“Africa is at a crossroads. We must stick to our guns and double down on the tactics we know work so well. That is mask wearing, handwashing and safe social distancing. Countless lives depend on it”.
Meanwhile, the situation in the continent might degrade further as the highly contagious UK strain has marked its presence in the Nigeria and Gambia.