Across Africa, a third wave of infections driven by the Delta coronavirus variant has struck several countries and is fast spreading.
The Delta variant, first identified in India has caused lockdowns across Asia, South Africa and Australia. Although it is just one out of many variants that are spreading around during the pandemic, World Health Organization officials have called it “a variant of concern.”
The Delta variant also has split into several sub-variants, including one that is widespread in the United Kingdom.
At a press briefing on Thursday, the World Health Organization’s Africa director Dr Matshidiso Moeti warned that “the speed and scale of Africa’s third wave is like nothing we’ve seen before.”
“COVID-19 cases are doubling every three weeks, compared to every four weeks at the start of the second wave. Almost 202,000 cases were reported in the past week and the continent is on the verge of exceeding its worst week ever in this pandemic,” she added.
According to Moeti, 12 of the 14 African countries are experiencing a comeback with coronavirus types of concern, including nine with the highly contagious Delta variant.