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Covid-19 pandemic is 'far from over' says WHO official, as Africa surpasses 250 000 deaths

A World Health Organisation spokesperson said on Friday that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was a long way off. To date the African continent has fully vaccinated just 15% of the adult population. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

A World Health Organisation spokesperson said on Friday that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was a long way off. To date the African continent has fully vaccinated just 15% of the adult population. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Published Mar 18, 2022

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Cape Town – A World Health Organisation spokesperson said on Friday that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic was a long way off, citing a rise in cases in its latest weekly data, according to a Reuters report.

The UN health agency said before, the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year, but it would depend on how quickly we met its target to vaccinate 70% of the population in each country, among other factors.

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Asked by a journalist at a Geneva media briefing about the timing of the pandemic's end, Margaret Harris said it was “far from over”.

“We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic,” she added.

After more than a month of decline, Covid-19 cases started to increase around the world last week, the WHO said, with lockdowns in Asia and China's Jilin province battling to contain an outbreak, writes Reuters.

A combination of factors was causing the increases, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its cousin the BA.2 sub-variant, and the lifting of public health and social measures, the WHO said.

Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine uptake rose by 15% between January and February as several countries embarked on mass vaccination drives to expand coverage and protect populations against the adverse health impacts of the virus, according to WHO.

To date, the continent has fully vaccinated just 15% of the adult population.

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Meanwhile, as of Friday, the African continent reported 11 652 436 Covid-19 cases while the continent the surpasses 250 000 deaths, according to real-time data provided by Worldometer.

South Africa to date has recorded 99 829 deaths, while Tunisia and Egypt round up the African countries with with the most deaths, with 28 065 and 24 277 deaths respectively, according to Worldometer.

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