World Health Organisation (WHO) is charging African countries to take urgent action to find quickly, test, isolate and care for Covid-19 patients.

This follows a recent surge in cases by over 20 per cent week-on-week; according to WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the continent’s third wave is gaining pace as it nears the first wave peak of more than 120,000 weekly cases recorded in July 2020.

During the same week, deaths rose by nearly 15 per cent to over 2,200 in 36 countries, this is in the face of recent challenges in vaccine acquisition.

This was contained in a press statement by WHO.

He also stated that Covid-19 cases have risen to over 116,500 in the week ending on 13 June, up from the previous week’s nearly 91,000 cases.

Before then, the continent’s numbers rose progressively, pushing the recorded cases in the region beyond the 5 million case mark.

WHO is therefore calling on all countries lagging behind to rapidly expand vaccination sites, reach priority groups and respond to community concerns.

WHO’s Regional Director for Africa Dr. Moeti also stated, “a number of African countries have shown that they can move vaccines quickly, so while we welcome the recent international vaccine pledges, if we are to curb the third wave Africa needs doses here and now”.

Meanwhile, there has been a spike in Covid cases in countries like the US, UK, and India, a result of the new Delta Covid variant, originating from India.

The Delta variant is now the dominant variant in the UK, accounting for 90% of cases. Experts believe delta could be between 40 and 60 percent more contagious than the alpha variant, which is also about 50 percent more transmissible than the original Covid-19 strain.

The UK has so far recorded 33,000 cases, confirmed to be the Delta variant since February, of which 223 have been admitted to hospital. Most of these victims were unvaccinated or had only had only dose, and 20 out of them were fully vaccinated.