New COVID-19 cases, deaths dropping in Africa

New COVID-19 cases, deaths dropping in Africa

EU commits to supplying Africa with 200M doses by December, says Africa Vaccine Acquisition Technical Team official

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - Over the last one week, the number of new COVID-19 cases and related deaths showed an overall decrease in the African continent, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.

Between Aug. 23 and 29, we recorded 211,000 new cases, a 12% overall decrease, John Nkengasong told a weekly press briefing.

“In terms of new deaths, a total of 5,345 new deaths were recorded ... this represents a 4% decrease compared to the previous week,” he added.

At least 197,000 people have died of the virus, representing 4.4% of global deaths, he said, adding more countries are witnessing a third and fourth wave.

Over 7.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including 197,000 cases and 6.9 million recoveries.

- Situation 'concerning'

“Forty-one countries are now experiencing a third wave,” Nkengasong said. “31 of the 41 member countries are experiencing a more severe third wave than we saw in the second wave.”

According to him, Congo Republic, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo joined the list of countries experiencing the third wave. Algeria, Benin, Somalia, Kenya, Mauritius and Tunisia, meanwhile, are experiencing a fourth wave.

Some 43 countries are reporting the Alpha variant, 37 Beta and 35 countries Delta, he said, calling the situation “concerning.”

- Vaccines supply

Meanwhile, the EU committed to supplying Africa with 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered in Africa by December.

“It is the largest such commitment coming from the European Union to date,” said Strive Masiyiwa, a coordinator of Africa Vaccine Acquisition Technical Team (AVATT).​​​​​​​

The continent has been receiving vaccines under the WHO-led COVAX facility, through AVATT as well as through bilateral contacts.

Vaccination performance in Africa, according to Africa CDC, remains the lowest in the world with 2% of the population inoculated to date.

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