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WHO: Africa Sees Significant Increase in COVID-19 Related Mortality

Over the last 4 weeks there has been an 80% increase in the continent and the Delta variant is the large cause according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In remarks made last week during a press conference, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that deaths from COVID-19 in Africa have increased by 80% and that in 5 of the 6 WHO region infections increased by 80%.

“Much of this increase is being driven by the highly-transmissible Delta variant,” Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated.

The African continent has been hit especially hard with a combination of an increased incidence and mortality along with a lack of vaccine availability. The continent has seen less than 2% of all doses administered globally, and just 1.5% of the continent’s population are fully vaccinated.

“All regions are at risk, but none more so than Africa,” Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “On current trends, nearly 70% of African countries will not reach the 10% vaccination target by the end of September.”

The WHO Director-General said the organization’s goal remains to support every country to vaccinate at least 10% of its population by the end of September, at least 40% by the end of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year.

With this surge form the variant, Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator would be launching the Rapid ACT-Accelerator Delta Response (RADAR), issuing a call for $7.7 billion US dollars for tests, treatments, and vaccines. He also announced the need for additional funds for COVAX to purchase COVID-19 vaccines next year.

Adhanom Ghebreyesus said people often ask him when the pandemic will end. “The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it. It’s in our hands. We have all the tools we need: we can prevent this disease, we can test for it, and we can treat it.”