The WHO’s regional office for Africa has said that the new variant of Covid-19 is spreading aggressively throughout Africa, particularly in the Southern region, and will present a bigger challenge than the original virus.
Doctor Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director, has said that the new variant coming out of South Africa is spreading faster than the first wave of Covid-19 and more aggressively.
“Preliminary analysis finds the new variant [of Covid-19] circulating in South Africa to be more transmissible and it appears to be driving the surge in new infections in the country and in the sub-region,” he said, according to EWN.
Moeti said the same variant was also detected in Zambia, Botswana and Gambia and that it’s critical for countries to improve routine-sequencing of the coronavirus.
“We think that it could be present in more countries than that and deeper investigations are under way to fully understand the epidemiological implications,” he continued. “But at present there are no indications that the new variant increases the severity of the disease.”
Moeti also reserved praise of the African Union’s efforts in securing provisional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for distribution across the continent.
Nearly 74,500 Covid-19 patients in Africa have died while more than 3.1 million coronavirus cases have been recorded.