Delta’s variant spreads in Africa
Islam News – Africa is bracing for a wave of infections, driven in some places by the Delta variant, according to The New York Times.
Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are grappling with surges, and new lockdowns and restrictions. South Africa, the continent’s worst-hit nation, has reported new infections doubling in just two weeks’ time. Tunisia, where hospitals are full and oxygen supplies are low, is enduring a fourth wave.
“It’s just one country, following another, following another,” said our colleague Abdi Latif Dahir, who covers East Africa for The New York Times.
According to official numbers — which represent a fraction of the true scale — Covid-related deaths in Africa have climbed by nearly 15 percent last week compared with the previous one, the W.H.O. said. And the countries are not vaccinating anywhere near fast enough. Fewer than 1 percent of Africa’s people have been even partially vaccinated, by far the lowest rate for any continent.
Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and other politicians have drawn large gatherings with mostly unmasked crowds — particularly at a major holiday held in the western Kisumu County — even as health officials pleaded with the country’s leaders to avoid the events.
In the weeks since, reports show an alarming surge in infections and deaths in Kisumu. Although data is spotty, the test positivity rate there is double the national average.
And the nature of infection is changing, too. Health officials in Kisumu first detected the Delta variant in early May in factory workers who had arrived from India. Now, young people are getting sick and doctors say Covid patients present more severe symptoms than before.
As in India, supplies are running short. Hospitals in Kisumu have started turning away patients for lack of beds or oxygen. Even the wealthy cannot get the medical supplies they need to survive.