Some top executives at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have advised that the only way Sub-Saharan Africa can break free from the new COVID-19 pandemic cycle is to immediately implement a widespread vaccination programme.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is in the grips of a third wave of COVID-19 infections that threaten to be even more brutal than the two that came before,” said IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, and the Fund’s Africa Department Director, Aemro Selassie, in a new blog published late Monday.
The growth of infections in sub-Saharan Africa is now the fastest in the world, with an explosive trajectory that is outpacing the record set in the second wave.
The two officials have warned, “this new wave will likely surpass previous peaks in a matter of days and in some countries, infections are already more than double, or even triple their January peaks.”
The latest ‘Delta’ variant of the Covid-19 virus is reportedly 60 percent more transmissible than earlier variants of the virus has been detected in 14 countries.
When the pandemic first hit, quick action by policymakers in Africa prevented infection rates seen elsewhere around the world. But it pushed local health systems to a breaking point.
Only six months after the initial crisis, the region experienced a second wave that swiftly outpaced the scale and speed of the first. Now, another six months on, sub-Saharan Africa faces third devastating wave.