'Brutal' third wave hits Africa as vaccination slows

# 25 June 2021 11:42 (UTC +04:00)

Africa is facing a vicious coronavirus resurgence, with unprecedented hospital admissions and fatalities pushing health facilities to the brink as the continent falls far behind in the global vaccination drive, APA reports citing AFP.

With just under 5.3 million reported cases and around 139,000 deaths among its nearly 1.3 billion people, Africa is still the world's least-affected continent after Oceania, according to an AFP tally.

So far African nations have been spared disasters comparable to Brazil or India.

But the pandemic is resurging at an alarming rate in at least 12 countries, with continental cases expected to hit a record peak in around three weeks.

"The third wave is picking up speed, spreading faster, hitting harder," World Health Organization Africa director Matshidiso Moeti warned Thursday. "The latest surge threatens to be Africa's worst yet".

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) director John Nkengasong on Thursday described the third wave as "extremely brutal" and "very devastating".

And Liberia's President George Weah has warned the wave is "far more alarming than a year ago" as hospitals overflow in his country.

Compounding Africa's third wave are immunisation hitches, the spread of more transmissible virus variants and winter temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere.

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