Delta Variant Has Caused COVID-19 Deaths To Surge Across Africa

Photo: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

The Delta variant is spiking COVID-19-related deaths across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, across Africa, COVID-19 deaths increased by 80% in just one month. 

“COVID-19 death rates have increased across Africa, with the highest weekly rate (6,343) to date reported during the week starting July 19, 2021,” Phionah Atuhebwe, WHO Vaccine Introduction Officer for the African Region, told CNN on Monday (August 2). 

“Deaths increased by 89%, from 13,242 to 24, 987, in the last 28 days, when compared against statistics for the previous 28 days,” she continued, adding that most of the new deaths being reported in the last month were coming from 15 countries, and that most were in the southern and northern regions of the continent. 

“The 15 countries are Algeria, Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco,” she said.

In a news conference last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Delta variant is causing a rapid infection rate and increased death toll and has been “detected in at least 132 countries” so far. The variant, has increased global COVID-19 infections by 80%, the WHO director said. 

“Almost 4 million cases were reported to WHO last week, and on current trends, we expect the total number of cases to pass 200 million within the next two weeks,” Ghebreyesus said. 

Ghebreyesus described the global vaccination efforts as “unjust” as countries experience vaccine shortages while others have stockpiles of supplies. Ghebreyesus also explained that many countries in Africa have a plan to rollout vaccines, they just need the shots. 

“Many African countries have prepared well to roll out vaccines, but the vaccines have not arrived,” he said. “This is a very serious problem if we’re going to take action against this pandemic and end it.”

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