South Africa is grappling with massive resurgence of Coronavirus Delta Variant. Reports today suggest that the death toll from the virus reached 61,332 after another 303 deaths were registered as on Friday.
South Africa has recorded a record tally of new COVID-19 infections, with more than 24,000 cases in the continent’s country hardest hit by the coronavirus, official figures showed.
The latest COVID infections found Africa in the past 24-hours surpass the peak of 21,980 in January and take the new cumulative total past two million.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases “reports 24,270 new COVID-19 cases… which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,019,826,”.
“We are indeed… in the eye of the storm of the third wave of the COVID-19 as we can see over the last 14 days, we have surpassed the levels of daily infections” seen during the first two waves, Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla told a news briefing earlier on Friday.
Last week South African Government reimposed restrictions for 14 days, banning alcohol, shutting schools, eateries and barring all gatherings, except for funerals, where numbers are capped at 50.
The Africa’s vaccination drive has been slow with around 3.2 million people having been immunised since February out of the 59 million population.
In light of these developments, the Bureau of the Heads of State and Government endorsed the revised Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Outbreak. The revised strategy focuses on enhanced Prevention, Monitoring, and Treatment, which reflects the changing dimensions of the COVID-19 on the continent as well as the evolving nature of the pandemic.
The Bureau of the Heads of State and Government further endorsed the outcomes of the virtual summit on “Expanding Africa’s Vaccine Manufacturing for Health Security”, held from 12-13 April 2021. These outcomes include the “Framework for Action” with key milestones towards reaching the target of manufacturing 60 per cent of Africa’s routine immunisation needs on the continent by 2040, aligned with the call for a New Public Health Order.
They also include the launch of the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM), which aims to leverage pan-African and global partnerships to scale up vaccine manufacturing in Africa.