Introduced per week in the past, the brand new variant has already seen some European governments swiftly reintroduce powerful measures together with necessary mask-wearing and social distancing, whereas journey restrictions, principally focusing on southern Africa, have additionally come into pressure.
The Africa CDC stated it had been making ready “for the longest time” for the potential of a brand new variant and was properly positioned to comprise a surge in circumstances.
The Omicron variant has been reported in 4 African nations together with South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Botswana, it stated.
“This would be the fourth wave that we face as a continent,” Nkengasong stated.
“We all know methods to deploy speedy responders, we all know methods to present the interventions which can be obligatory,” he stated, including that vaccines have been additionally “flowing very steadily” into the continent.
Nonetheless, vaccine uptake in Africa, a continent of almost 1.2 billion folks, has been low, with solely 7 per cent of the inhabitants totally innoculated.
Immunisation campaigns suffered a gradual begin because of poor entry to jabs, and in some nations hesitancy surrounding Covid-19 vaccines is widespread.
Africa wants an estimate 1.5 billion vaccine doses to immunise 60 per cent of its inhabitants and obtain some stage of herd immunity. Thus far, the continent has obtained simply over 400 million doses.
The United Nations and the WHO in October criticised wealthy nations’ roll out of booster pictures, saying this crimped poorer nations’ entry to jabs.