Africa's bid to contain 4th Covid wave

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/28/2021 8:36:25 AM

NEW DELHI, Dec 27: Across Africa, the world’s least-vaccinated continent, the spread of the Omicron variant has coincided with a rapid spike in reported case counts, prompting health authorities in several countries to reintroduce curfews and quarantines, and impose new vaccine mandates, according to The New York Times.

In Kenya, the percentage of positive coronavirus tests has jumped in the past three weeks to 30 percent from 1 percent; in Uganda, nearly 50 lawmakers tested positive after attending a sporting event; and in Zimbabwe, government officials instituted new restrictions on businesses and travellers.

At least 21 African countries are now experiencing a fourth wave of the pandemic, according to the Africa C.D.C. Three — Algeria, Kenya and Mauritius — are enduring a fifth.

Omicron has now been detected in 22 African countries, but limited testing makes it difficult to know if the new variant is responsible for the spike. Early data from South Africa, where the variant was first detected, suggests it may have already peaked there and that it is less severe than earlier variants. However, health experts warned not to extrapolate those results to African countries with older populations and lower vaccination rates.

 

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