Covid-19 cases are on the rise in 32 countries in Africa, with large outbreaks occurring at the northern and southern ends of the continent. In 28 countries, the number of new cases reported every day has more than doubled since May 15. In 12 of them, the number of cases increased more than 10 times.
The third wave in Africa could be the worst
Daily new confirmed cases, 7 days moving average
Source: Our World in Data
The number of new daily cases in South Africa, which is at the epicenter of the continent’s latest outbreak, has grown sixfold since May 15. Although the country is home to only four percent of Africa’s population, the country has accounted for half of all new cases in recent days.
The outbreak in South Africa has spread to neighboring Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where the number of cases has increased rapidly.
The re-emergence of Covid-19 in South Africa has been attributed to the spread of the Delta variant, which is significantly more contagious than the previously prevailing Beta variant. The government has ordered a two-week ban on the sale of alcohol to free hospital beds due to the expected increase in hospital admissions. Fewer than one percent of South Africans aged 70 and over are fully vaccinated, compared with 48 percent in the UK.