Africa Still Waits For Vaccine Donations From The Group Of Seven Countries Amid Surging Cases Of COVID19

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In Africa, many countries are struggling with the new wave of COVID19 infections without enough vaccination. Africa has received fewer doses of the COVID19 vaccine as compared to other continents. Europe and North America have been able to overcome the wrath of the pandemic due to extensive vaccine rollout programs. As per the report, hospitals in Uganda have gone over-exhausted with surging cases. The condition of patients is so severe that they are dying while waiting for beds in hospitals and proper health care.   Scientists have said that all non-emergency surgeries have been postponed to make space for COVID19 patients in hospitals in Namibia. Military hospitals have opened their doors to treat civilians who are dealing with the disease. In Johannesburg, that is the largest city in Africa, intensive care units are flooded with COVID19 patients, and hospitals are stocking up oxygen cylinders as cases are shooting up. A group of seven nations has pledged to donate at least one billion doses of COVID19 shots to low-income countries. However, as per the report the group holds up the pledge to send out the doses to Africa where only 0.6 percent of 1.3 billion people have been given two doses of the vaccine so far. Health analysts have informed that most donated vaccines will not arrive before August in Africa. They have said that it seems that many African governments will run out of COVID19 vaccines in the upcoming weeks as vaccine deliveries from the Covax program for developing countries that are backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) have slowed down to a greater extent.

Health experts have said that many new variants of the virus as well have been circulating in several African countries that will create more trouble in countries’ struggle to bounce back from Africa’s worst recession on record. Health officials have said that the donated shots will be used to vaccinate millions of doctors and health care staff who are on the job in some of the weakest health care systems in the world. These people have been treating COVID19 patients without any self-protection. As per the report, million more doses of COVID19 shots are required to vaccinate the general population in the continent and to put an end to the pandemic.  The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC), John Nkengasong has said that the continent is currently struggling with the third wave of the pandemic. He has said that all countries should be prepared with treatment capacities such as oxygen cylinders and other commodities related to treatment. As per the report, nearly 14 out of 54 countries in Africa are witnessing a major spike in COVID19 cases. Experts have said that cases of COVID19 have shot up by 26 percent in the first week of June.  Experts have said that epicenters of major outbreaks have been found in the capital cities of the countries where testing capacity and case records are maintained properly. However, the situation in rural areas and villages is still not being tracked. Kinshasa, which is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo with a population of 11 billion people, is undergoing strict lockdown as the WHO has identified a major rise in COVID19 cases in May. Health care workers from hospitals in the city have said that they are trapped in an overwhelmed situation with no water, food, electricity, oxygen, and beds in hospitals.

Daily infections in the most populated province of Gauteng in South Africa that is home to the country’s political and economic capitals, Pretoria and Johannesburg have shot by twofold in the past week. Health experts have warned that the city might set a new record for deaths due to COVID19 by the end of this month. The South African government has not imposed a lockdown yet due to concerns over the falling economy of the country. Health experts have said that indoor dining and gatherings of more than 100 people are still allowed in the nation. On the other hand, as per the official data, COVID19 cases in Africa are just a tiny portion of the global caseload. However, experts are not able to assess the actual scale of the pandemic in the continent due to lack of testing capacity and extensive reluctance to seek care in even severe illness. Many doctors in the worst hit countries have said that the third wave of the pandemic might be more deadly than the last one. Experts have said that cases have shot up to more than double in the second consecutive week in the East African nation that has a population of 44 million people. In the capital city Kampala, COVID19 infections have clustered among health care workers and university students. President Yoweri Museveni has put a new lockdown in place. All schools have been shut down for six weeks and the officials have banned most gatherings in the country. As of now, Uganda has been given only a third of the three million shots that have been promised to be delivered by the end of May under the Covax Program. The Covax program has not been receiving the vaccine from its main supplier in India as the Indian government has put a ban on vaccine export. Indian officials have said they will be sending remaining doses of some 250 million doses by the end of September via donated shots and deals with other vaccine developers. At the same time, health officials are quite worried about the new more contagious Delta variant as well that has been detected in India for the first time.

 

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