A surge in new Covid-19 cases in Africa in the past week is causing fewer deaths than previous surges, the World Health Organisation said.
Still, more waves could be building up as updated forecasts predict that the continent may not achieve its 70% vaccination target until August 2024, the global health body said in a statement on Tuesday.
Africa recorded more than 196 000 new cases in the week ended December 12, up from 107 000 in the previous week, the WHO said. Cases are doubling every five days, the shortest period reported this year, while the number of deaths dropped 19%, it said.
“We are cautiously optimistic that deaths and severe illness will remain low in the current wave, but slow vaccine rollout in Africa means both will be much higher than they should be,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said in the statement.