Africa marked its worst pandemic week ever, but the worst is yet to come says the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the third wave gaining speed and new ground across the continent, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said the end to this precipitous rise is still weeks away.

Moeti said “Covid-19 cases have risen for seven consecutive weeks since the onset of the third wave on May 3, 2021. During the week ending 4 July, more than 251 000 new Covid-19 cases were recorded on the continent, amounting to a 20% increase over the previous week and a 12% jump from the January peak.”

“Cases are doubling now every 18 days, compared with every 21 days only a week ago. We can still break the chain of transmission by testing, isolating contacts and cases and following key public health measures.”

Over 5.7 million Covid-19 cases have been reported in Africa and 140 000 deaths. According to the Africa CDC, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt are the countries with the most cases in the continent.

So far, 66 million doses have been delivered to Africa, including 40 million doses secured through bilateral deals, 25 million Covax-supplied doses and 800 000 doses supplied by the African Union African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.

Moeti said there a larger Covid-19 vaccine deliveries expected to arrive in July and August after supplies almost grinding to a halt in May and early June.

“In the past two weeks, more than 1.6 million doses were delivered to Africa through Covax. More than 20 million Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses are expected to arrive imminently from the United States through Covax, in co-ordination with the African Union. Forty-nine countries have been notified of the allocations they will receive,” she said.

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