The total number of coronavirus cases in Africa crossed 2.5 million on Saturday, consistent with a Reuters tally, as the second wave of infections hits the continent.
Quick measures including travel restrictions and border closures enabled countries in Africa to limit the spread when first cases were reported in March. But the economic impact of the measures prompted governments to ease them.
As people relax their guards and ditch social distancing measures, infections have spiked.
Spike in cases
According to a Reuters analysis, Africa has reported about 454,000 new cases within the past 30 days, nearly 18% of its reported total of 2.5 million cases.
South Africa remains the worst-affected African nation with 912,477 cases and 24,539 deaths. Adding oil to the fire, the country has seen a pointy spike in infections since the beginning of December.
The South African government said on Friday it had identified a brand new variant of the coronavirus that’s driving the second wave of infections.
Governments across the region are imposing lockdowns, curfews and restricting gatherings prior Christmas celebrations.
Besides, Nigeria on Friday ordered schools to shut indefinitely, banned concerts, carnivals and street parties. They also ordered some civil servants to figure from home in its commercial capital, Lagos.
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a curfew and other measures, including the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces.
As developed countries like the US and therefore the UK start vaccinating their people. Unfortunately, most poorer African countries are counting on the World Health Organization’s COVAX program. The program aims to deliver a minimum of 2 billion vaccine doses by the top of 2021.
However, in line with a Reuters report in the week, the scheme faces a “very high” risk of failure. This can potentially leave nations that are home to billions of individuals with no access to vaccines. Even until as late as 2024, internal documents say.
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