A sudden, sharp rise in coronavirus cases in many parts of Africa could amount to a continental third wave, the World Health Organization warned on Thursday, a portent of deeper trouble for a continent whose immunization drives have been crippled by shortfalls in funding and vaccine doses. The W.H.O., an arm of the United Nations, said test positivity had risen in 14 African countries over the last seven days, with eight reporting a surge of over 30 percent in new cases. Infections are steadily climbing in South Africa, where four of nine provinces are battling a third wave. There has also been a sharp increase in cases in Uganda, with hospitals overwhelmed with Covid patients and authorities mulling a lockdown. The W.H.O. attributed the rise to loose compliance with social restrictions, and increasing travel along with the arrival of the winter season in southern Africa. But while many wealthier countries have vigorous vaccination campaigns, and some are on track to fully reopen, many of Africa’s poorer countries face a huge challenge in accessing vaccines.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TMES