ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Eleven African countries are experiencing or have experienced the fourth wave of coronavirus, the head of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Thursday.
In his weekly virtual press briefing, John Nkengasong, the center’s director, said these countries are Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Somalia and Tunisia.
He said Mauritius has actually been hit by a fifth wave, adding that "the waves will continue unless we scale-up vaccinations and maintain a good public health practice."
Nkengasong said the continent, which has 54 countries, has received 403 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but only 55% of them, or 221 million, have been administered.
Only 6.6% of Africa's population of over 1.2 billion is fully vaccinated, meaning Africa is far from reaching the aim of fully vaccinating 70% of people by the end of 2022, he added.
"What we are seeing now is a lot more vaccines coming in and the uptake is challenged because of the logistics and delivery," said the head of the public health agency of the African Union.
He said some countries in Africa, however, are making good progress in terms of vaccination, i.e. Morocco has fully vaccinated 61% of its population, followed by Tunisia 33%, Egypt 12% and Algeria 11%.
Africa has so far recorded 8.6 million infections, while the death toll from the virus has crossed 222,000.