Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Read more
Sign In
June 18, 20214:57 AM PDTLast Updated a month ago
COVID-19 cases surge in Africa, less than 0.8% of people fully vaccinated, say officials

2 minute read
Play video on original page
NAIROBI, June 17 (Reuters) - COVID-19 cases rose by over 20% week-on-week in nearly two dozen African countries and progress on vaccinating Africans is proceeding slowly, with just 0.79% of people on the continent fully vaccinated, senior health officials said on Thursday.
"Africa is in the midst of a full blown third wave...We’ve seen in India and elsewhere how quickly COVID-19 can rebound and overwhelm health systems," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, told a news conference.
New cases are up nearly 30% in the past week and deaths are up by 15%, she said, with five countries -- South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia -- accounting for 76% of the new cases.
The continent of 1.3 billion people has not yet been battered with an emergency during the pandemic on the scale of that recently facing India, but officials including Moeti continue to warn that such a catastrophe could hit.
African nations lack sufficient numbers of hospital beds and oxygen supplies, and would be even more overwhelmed than India if cases surged in a similar way, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention warned in April.
Africa has reported over 5 million COVID-19 cases, representing 2.9% of total cases globally, according to the Africa CDC.
Kenyan tour guide, Daniel Ole Kissipan, receives the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under the COVAX scheme, in Nairobi, Kenya, April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi/File Photo/File Photo
The Africa CDC's chief John Nkengasong told reporters in a separate news conference on Thursday that amid quickly rising cases in many countries, progress on vaccination campaigns is generally slow.
Four African countries have not begun vaccination campaigns, but the WHO said on Thursday that Tanzania plans to request to join the COVAX global vaccine-sharing facility. This was the latest sign of the country's change of tack following the death of its COVID-19 sceptic president in March. read more
The aim of COVAX is to help poorer countries vaccinate their people.
Both Moeti and Nkengasong stressed that African nations carrying out vaccinations at a relatively good pace were running out of their stocks.
Five African countries -- Sao Tome and Principe, Morocco, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Libya -- have used 90% or more of their vaccine stocks, according to the WHO.
Nkengasong welcomed the Group of Seven’s pledge of 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but said news should be put in the right context. “The one billion doses are not here now. We are hoping they will be here soon.”
(This story adds dropped word “people” in headline)
Reporting by Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick Writing by Maggie Fick Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page
Read Next
United Kingdom
Raab calls for global vaccine drive as UK starts donating shots
8:32 AM PDT
Kenyan wildlife authorities capture lion in residential area outside capital
8:22 AM PDT
U.S. calls for halt to violence against Eritreans in Tigray
8:02 AM PDT
Protesters shut road, rail link between Djibouti, Addis Ababa - official
7:38 AM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Africa · 2:47 AM PDT
Tunisian judiciary investigating Ennahda, two other parties - judicial source
Tunisia's judiciary has opened an investigation into three political parties, including Ennahda and Heart of Tunisia, on suspicion of receiving foreign funds during the 2019 election campaign, a judicial source told Reuters.
WIDER IMAGE Senegalese plant circular gardens in Green Wall defence against desert
5:51 AM PDT
'Happy to see you': Ivory Coast political rivals hug in reconciliation push
4:52 AM PDT
Tunisian Islamists move to ease tensions, unions demand roadmap
July 27, 2021
In Tunis bazaar, traders say economic woes set stage for crisis
6:59 AM PDT
About Reuters
About Reuters
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Terms of Use
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved