Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Nine in 10 African nations set to miss urgent COVID vaccination goal

At 32 million doses, Africa accounts for lower than one per cent of the greater than 2.1 billion doses administered globally. Just two per cent of the continent’s practically 1.3 billion individuals have acquired one dose, and solely 9.4 million Africans are absolutely vaccinated. 

‘Do or die’ for doses 

“It’s do or die on dose sharing for Africa,” mentioned Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. 

The WHO’s reminder that 225 million doses of vaccine are wanted urgently on the continent comes as coronavirus infections elevated there for the third consecutive week. 

Africa’s 54 international locations have registered practically 5 million COVID-19 infections to date and numbers elevated by practically 20 per cent – to greater than 88 000 – in the week ending 6 June.  

Third wave looms 

“As we close in on five million cases and a third wave in Africa looms, many of our most vulnerable people remain dangerously exposed to COVID-19”, warned Dr Moeti. 

“Vaccines have been proven to prevent cases and deaths, so countries that can, must urgently share COVID-19 vaccines.”  

According to WHO’s newest state of affairs replace, the pandemic “is trending upwards in 10 African countries”. Four nations have seen a 30 per cent improve in instances in the previous seven days, in contrast with the earlier week.  

Most of the brand new instances have been in Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia and over half have been in 9 southern African international locations. 

Vaccines have change into “increasingly scarce”, the UN well being company mentioned, including that on the present price of supply, solely seven African nations will meet the goal of immunizing one in 10 individuals by September. 

European distinction 

The improvement got here because the WHO introduced on Thursday that for the primary time in Europe since final August, deaths from COVID-19 had fallen beneath 10,000 in every week. 

In an everyday replace, the UN well being company famous that instances, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased in the area for 2 consecutive months.  

A complete of 368,000 new instances have been reported in the final seven days, which is a fifth of the weekly instances reported throughout Europe’s current peak in April this 12 months, mentioned Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. 

He famous that the European Region had seen 55 million confirmed instances of COVID-19 and 1.2 million deaths, which is round a 3rd of the worldwide caseload. 

Vaccine roll-out 

More than 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the final six months, Dr Kluge famous, that means that 30 per cent of Europeans have acquired at the least one vaccine dose and 17 per cent have been absolutely immunised.  

(*10*), the WHO official defined. “The distance to go before reaching at least 80 per cent coverage of the adult population, is still considerable.”  

People over 70 have been 800 instances extra prone to extreme illness or loss of life from the coronavirus, he continued, insisting that it was an “urgent priority” to proceed to shield the aged, individuals with comorbidities and frontline staff who “remain unprotected” in a variety of European international locations. 

“With increasing social gatherings, greater population mobility, and large festivals and sports tournaments taking place in the coming days and weeks, WHO-Europe calls for caution”, the WHO official added.  

Widespread group transmission continues, Dr. Kluge continued, including that the brand new Delta coronavirus variant which reveals elevated transmissibility “is poised to take hold”, whereas many weak individuals over 60 stay unprotected. 

Highlighting the parallels with final summer season when infections rose in youthful individuals earlier than shifting into older age teams, the WHO official urged European international locations to keep away from “a devastating resurgence, lockdowns and loss of life” through the hotter months.  

Public well being measures 

“A combination of public health measures and vaccination – not one or the other – is the way out of this pandemic,” Dr Kluge insisted. 

To encourage individuals to shield themselves and others from coronavirus, WHO-Europe and UNICEF Europe and Central Asia have launched a joint marketing campaign with some key do’s and don’ts. 

“If you choose to travel, do it responsibly,” Dr. Kluge mentioned. “Be conscious of the risks. Apply common sense and don’t jeopardize hard-earned gains. Remember: wash your hands frequently, keep a distance, choose open settings and wear a mask. Avoid the three Cs; settings that are ‘closed’, ‘confined’ or ‘crowded’, will put you at higher risk.”

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Updated on June 16, 2021 10:14 pm

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