The Interview

Africa's Covid-19 mortality rates higher than global average, head of Africa CDC warns

THE INTERVIEW
THE INTERVIEW © FRANCE 24

Dr. John Nkengasong, the head of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), granted an interview to FRANCE 24 from Addis Ababa. He said he was "extremely concerned" about the second wave of the coronavirus in Africa, where mortality rates in more than 20 African countries are higher than the global average. Nkengasong also warned that the South African variant of Covid-19 is spreading to other African nations. He rejoiced at the Biden administration rejoining the WHO in the global fight against Covid-19, saying it was "a happy day for the global health community".

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Africa CDC head John Nkengasong told FRANCE 24 that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was "fierce", hitting more African countries than the first one and with higher mortality rates than the global average. He added that the death toll was likely to rise and urged leaders to take quick action to stem the tide. He said health institutions were closely monitoring the South African variant, which is spreading to other African countries.

Nkengasong warned that the world was heading for a "moral catastrophe" if it is not able to provide vaccines to Africa. He said the continent was working towards securing vaccines through several mechanisms and held out hope that the jabs will be readily available in the near future.

Finally, he hailed as a "game changer" the announcement by the Biden administration that the US was rejoining the World Health Organization and would lead the fight against the pandemic on the global stage.

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