The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that cases of COVID-19 have fallen in Africa despite the domination of the Omicron Variant fourth wave of the virus.
The United Nations, Thursday, said deaths are declining for the first time in the Dark Continent since the Omicron-dominated fourth wave of the virus reached its peak.
Describing the 56-day flareup as Africa’s “shortest upsurge yet,” the WHO’s African regional office said newly reported cases dropped by 20 per cent in the week to Sunday, while notified deaths plummeted by eight per cent.
In a statement issued after a weekly press briefing, the office also said South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first detected, had seen cases trending downward over the past four weeks.
Only North Africa reported an increase in cases last week, “with a 55 percent spike”, it said.
The WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, however, warned, “The continent has yet to turn the tables on this pandemic. So long as the virus continues to circulate, further pandemic waves are inevitable.”
She said the world’s poorest continent should “not only broaden vaccinations but also gain increased and equitable access to critical Covid-19 therapeutics to save lives and effectively combat this pandemic.”
Only 10 per cent of the African population are fully vaccinated, according to the WHO.
The continent, with a population of 1.2 billion, has been relatively unharmed by the pandemic, reporting 234,913 deaths from 10.5 million cases, according to AFP tallies.