The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expressing concern at the latest wave of COVID infections as the continent enters the holiday season.Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong says they are pushing African countries to consider vaccine mandates.
Africa is seeing an increase in COVID infections, according to the figures released by the Africa CDC Thursday.
The continent recorded 253,000 positive cases over the past week, a 21% increase from the previous week and a 14% death increase.
Addressing journalists online, Africa CDC head John Nkengasong said they are concerned with the rising COVID cases.
“We continue to see this wave come and go but the very concerning element here is that the fourth wave and potentially the fifth wave is starting just before we go into the holiday season and that’s very concerning to me. Last year we saw the wave coming up after the holiday seasons and not before the holiday seasons, so we should just keep that in mind,” he said.
Since the omicron coronavirus variant was identified in South Africa last month, 22 countries have reported its presence in their communities.
More Africans are getting vaccinated, 325 million in all, but the large majority of people have not received the first jab.
Nkengasong says every country needs to launch a vaccination effort.
“We have a long way to go, at least we are making progress, we need a massive campaign, a massive campaign at every country level, so everyone should get out there especially with what we now know with new variants coming. You cannot talk of even a booster if people have not received their first doses of vaccine. Our campaign should be pushing people who have not received their first dose to receive the first dose,” he said.
Some countries like Kenya are banning unvaccinated people from accessing government services and public places, in order to push more people to get vaccinated.