The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa surpassed the 9-million mark on Wednesday as the continent strives for adequate access to vaccines.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said that as of Wednesday evening, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 9,033,788, as the death toll from the pandemic hit 225,489, while the number of recoveries stood at 8,265,327.

As of the end of last week, 12 African countries were experiencing the fourth-wave, of which four are said to exhibit a more severe bout of infections.

South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Ethiopia lead with the most cases on the continent, according to the agency.

The latest spike in the number of new cases comes amid the emergence of the Omicron variant. According to the Africa CDC, some 11 African countries have reported Omicron variant cases so far.

As of Wednesday, African countries had acquired about 245 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Some 7.35 percent of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to the figures from the Africa CDC continental vaccination portal.

The agency said that while almost 90 percent of high-income countries met the global goal of vaccinating at least 10 percent of the adult population by Sept. 30 this year, fewer than 20 African countries met this target.

The call has been echoed by the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who called on the international community to support African initiatives in the manufacturing of COVID-19 and other essential medicines and vaccines as key to global health security.

Source: Xinhua


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