Moscow [Russia], June 18 (ANI/Sputnik): Less than 1% of the African population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, while the countries are facing the third wave of COVID-19, WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said on Thursday.
"Almost 12 million people are now fully vaccinated, but this is still less than 1% of Africa's population," Moeti said at a press briefing, as posted on the WHO African Region Twitter.
According to the WHO regional chief, the number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 5 million in Africa, with the death toll climbing to 136,000 people. The countries in the region have been experiencing a sharp increase in new infections, as much as by over 20% week-on-week in 22 African countries, Moeti added.
"#Africa is in the midst of a full blown third wave. The sobering trajectory of surging #COVID19 cases should rouse everyone to urgent action. We've seen in India and elsewhere how quickly COVID-19 can rebound and overwhelm health systems," the official stressed.
She noted, though, that there are also some positive dynamics: Africa's vaccine rollout has picked up speed to over 5 million doses administered over the past week, compared to just 3.5 million doses in the weeks prior.
At the same time, Moeti expressed regret that 23 African countries have used less than half of the doses they have received due to "logistical challenges, gaps in operational funding and vaccine hesitancy."(ANI/Sputnik)