AFRICA: Africa has experienced a decline in the number of infected persons of the COVID-19 delta variant cases compared to the previous week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has started.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti staged this during a virtual press conference.
Moeti said that in the first week of September, the region recorded above 165,000 active cases, which is a 23 per cent drop from the past week. Although, the reduction is still higher than the similar cases recorded at the top of the first wave.
According to Moeti, the more infectious Delta Variant that partly powers the third wave to be cardinal in some countries that witnessed the COVID-19 wave.
“In Southern Africa, for example, where about 4,000 COVID-19 genome sequencing data was made in August, the delta variant was discovered in over 70 per cent of tests from Botswana, South Africa and Malawi, and over 90 per cent was discovered from Zimbabwe.
“In relation with the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, WHO is at the edge of efforts to set up the regional centre of Excellence for Genomic Surveillance and Bioinformatics in Cape Town. Therefore, the centre will assist 14 countries before being boosted to other countries.
” WHO and partners, last year established a COVID-19 sequencing laboratory network in Africa, which has produced roughly 40,000 sequencing data”, Moeti added.
Also speaking, the Director of the South African National Bioinformatics Institute, Professor Alan Christoffels, and Director at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infection Diseases at Redeemer’s University, Nigeria, Dr Christian Happi lament about the continent’s slow pace in the time of sequencing.
According to the duo, having only one per cent of over three million COVID-19 sequences carried out worldwide took place in Africa.
Where Delta Variant Started
Moeti explained that the C.1.2 variant initially identified in South Africa has so far been detected in 130 cases in 10 countries globally, including five in Africa.
“Although the variant has exhibited concerning mutations, there is no evidence that it is more transmissible or may affect vaccine efficacy, but more research is needed”.