Coronavirus-related deaths in Africa reached a record peak in the week ending Aug. 1, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Over 64,00 deaths were recorded across Africa, a 2% rise compared with the previous week, the WHO said in a news release Thursday. South Africa and Tunisia accounted for over 55% of the fatalities, but death trends are now on the rise in 15 African nations, the WHO found.
With over 172,000 deaths recorded, Africa now accounts for roughly 4% of all Covid-19 fatalities globally.
“It’s a sad day for Africa. Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost friends and loved ones. Deaths have peaked week-on-week on the continent and after a slight dip, COVID-19 cases are surging again. The latest data tells us that Africa is still on the crest of the third wave,” Dr Phionah Atuhebwe, New Vaccines Introduction Officer at WHO Africa said in a statement.
At least 22 African countries have seen coronavirus cases rise for the last two weeks, according to the WHO, and continent-wide infections rose by 19% in the week ending Aug. 1, with 278,000 new cases recorded.
Africa currently has the slowest vaccine rollout in the world, with less than 2% of people across the continent fully vaccinated.