“The time to prepare for the second wave is truly now”, warns the Africa CDC.

With an increase in cases reported across parts of the continent over the past month, the diseases control group warns Africa is heading towards second wave.

As Europe sees a surge in cases, the director of the Africa CDC, John Nkengasong, told a press conference on Thursday that the continent which had not been as severely affected by the virus as had been feared, needs to brace itself for a “second wave” as an uptick in cases emerge. While many African countries imposed strict lockdowns earlier on to curb the spread, the relaxation of these seems to have opened the floodgates for a reversal of the gains.

The continent has only reported 1.7 million cases to date, making up just below 4% of the global total. However, the past month saw a 6% average increase in weekly cases on the continent, with nine countries having a test positivity rate north of 10% - a worrying picture for many. Though the pattern varies across parts of the continent, with west and central Africa seeing a drop in cases, the picture still remains gloomy given the continent’s struggles with healthcare infrastructure and capacity.