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Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa fell by over 20 percent-WHO

Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa fell by more than 20 percent, the sharpest seven-day decline in two months, as the…

Weekly COVID-19 cases in Africa fell by more than 20 percent, the sharpest seven-day decline in two months, as the third wave pandemic tapers off, World Health Organization (WHO) has said.However, the rate of deceleration is slower than the previous waves owing to the impact of more transmissible variants, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa, based in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo .said Thursday in a statement.

 

The continent recorded more than 165,000 cases in the week ending on 5 September, 23 percent lower than the week before, yet still higher than the weekly cases recorded at the peak of the first wave.

 

“While COVID-19 cases have declined appreciably, the downward trend is frustratingly slow due to the lingering effects of the more infectious Delta variant,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa.

 

The more contagious Delta variant that partly fueled the third wave has been dominant in several countries that experienced COVID-19 surge, as the Delta variant was detected in over 70 percent of samples from Botswana, Malawi and South Africa, and in over 90 percent from Zimbabwe.

 

“The continent lags far behind the rest of the world when it comes to sequencing, with only 1 percent of over 3 million COVID-19 sequences conducted worldwide occurring in Africa,” said Moeti.

 

To date, the dominant Delta variant has been detected in 31 African countries, while the Alpha and Beta variants have respectively been identified in 44 and 39 countries.

 

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