Dr Michael Ryan, head of emergency at the WHO, predicted on Friday that the trajectory of COVID cases in Africa would be “very, very worrying”, with further outbreaks of infections and dangerously low vaccination rates.
According to the WHO, there were 116,500 new infections in Africa in the week ended June 13, 25,500 more than in the previous week.
Dr. Ryan pointed out that overall the continent did not look so bad, with only 5% of new cases and 2.2% of deaths reported worldwide last week.
But infections have doubled in some countries and more than 50% in others.
The third wave of COVID-19 cases is “expanding and accelerating” with variations in Africa, already alerting the World Health Organization (WHO) office on the continent, calling for an increase in vaccine supply.
Dr. Ryan, like Dr. Matsidiso Moiti, WHO Director for Africa, believes that when Europe or the United States has a high level of immunity, the continent will receive far fewer COVID vaccines, allowing it to return to a more normal life. With an unexpected reduction in infections and deaths.
“The absolute reality is that in an area with multiple infections and multiple variations that have a strong impact, we have left a large portion of the population and the vulnerable population in Africa without vaccine protection, and health systems are already fragile,” he said. Dr. Ryan.
“This is the result of an unfair distribution of vaccines,” he stressed.
This is especially true for Africa, where only 1% of the population is fully immunized.
Africa has so far been less affected by the epidemic than other regions, but that does not mean it will remain so.
“It is totally premature to think that the next wave in Africa is not just a small rain and storm,” the doctor said. And to add: “I think we need to take very seriously what is happening in Africa.” (Edited)