Why is Covid on the rise again in Africa?

At a press conference this month the World Health Organization (WHO) said the situation with Covid-19 in Africa was a real concern, with cases rising.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti said the continent would soon pass the five million mark.

About 88,000 cases were recorded just last week – an increase of 19% – with some countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Africa hit particularly hard.

Dr Thierno Blade, the WHO programme manager for strategic partnerships, told me there are currently several Covid variants causing concern.

He said the Delta strain, first identified in India late last year, initially appeared in Uganda but had now also been seen in Kenya.

He said though that “for the time being it’s not the dominant variant”.

It should be mentioned that in some countries the number of cases has been falling over the last weeks.

But with only 2% of Africans having received their first vaccination to date, could vaccine availability mean a third wave of Covid is inevitable across the continent?

Dr Blade says “needs aren’t fully covered and there are some ongoing actions”.

But he said coming from a month ago “where we had almost no vaccines” Africa now had 50 million doses.

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