Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Africa and have crossed the three million mark- with more than 72,000 deaths.
South Africa is battling a new strain of the virus which is said to be more contagious.
The WHO regional director for Africa said the new variant is spreading across the continent.
“Preliminary analysis finds the new variant circulating in South Africa, to be more transmissible and it appears to be driving the surge in new infections in the country and sub-region,” said Mathidiso Moeti.
“Genomic sequence has found the 501.V2 variant present in three other countries Botswana, Gambia and Zambia”.
She has also called on countries to strengthen COVID-19 measures to prevent health services that are already under pressure from reaching a breaking point.
South Africa has the most cases on the continent, which could be due to it carrying out more tests
It follows Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Health care workers dying
“South Africa currently has more than 220,000 active cases, that is, people who have been infected and are still recovering,” said Africa correspondent Vinícius Assis.
“Except that not everyone is in the hospitals, fifteen thousand people are hospitalised and approximately two thousand in the ICU’s. The authorities’ concern is to keep these hospitals reserved for patients with Covid-19.”
The South African Medical Association chief told Euronews that the second wave of registered cases is much more contagious and hundreds of health care workers have died.
“Our first wave was mild in comparison with the second wave,” said Angelique Coetzee – Chairperson of the SAMA, South African Medical Association.
“But again, it’s not that more people are dying. It’s just that it places quite a huge burden on the healthcare facilities. We know that more than 300 doctors already lost their lives.”
Renata Rocha an anesthetist in Angola, in the province of Huíla, was infected with the new coronavirus variant and hospitalised in an ICU.
she is now undergoing physical therapy two months after contracting the virus.
“Despite knowing of several testimonies from several colleagues both from within the country and abroad, to my amazement it is a long recovery in some cases, as it happened to me”.
In Angola, more than seven hundred health professionals have contracted COVID-19
From January 24, Angola will suspend flights with Portugal, South Africa and Brazil, countries that have already registered the new coronavirus variant.
In Angola, the first phase of the national vaccination plan starts in February.
African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa has secured the distribution of at least 50 million vaccines to member countries that will be available between April and June, said Euronews journalist Neusa Silva.
The least affected countries are Tanzania, Mauritania, Seychelles, Burundi and São Tomé and Príncipe, she said.