Cases in Africa Doubling Every 3 Weeks

Delta variant is driving the COVID surge, particularly in South Africa
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2021 12:39 PM CDT
WHO: COVID Variant Is Driving a New Wave in Africa
In this June 17, 2021, file photo, medical staff wearing protective equipment attend to patients affected by COVID-19 in the ICU of a hospital in Machakos, Kenya.   (AP Photo/Brian Inganga/File)

Driven by the delta variant, a new wave of coronavirus is sweeping across the African continent, where new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths are increasing. Case numbers are doubling every three weeks in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. South Africa is leading the surge, with more than 20,000 new cases reported Friday, per the AP. That has increased South Africa's total to 1.9 million confirmed cases and 66,323 confirmed deaths. It represents more than 30% of the 5.5 million cases reported by Africa's 54 countries, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's regional director for Africa, says the continent's third wave has large speed and scale. The delta variant, reported in 16 African countries, has become dominant in South Africa. WHO says the delta variant has been detected in 97% of samples sequenced in Uganda and 79% of samples in Congo. Less than 2% of Africa's 1.3 billion people have received one dose of a vaccine.

(Read more COVID variants stories.)

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