There and elsewhere, the fear is that the luck that somehow enabled parts of Africa to escape the worst of previous waves of COVID-19 infections and deaths might not hold this time.
“The first COVID was a joke, but this one is for real. It kills,” said Danstan Nsamba, a taxi driver in Uganda who has lost numerous people he knew to the virus.
In Zimbabwe, Chipo Dzimba embarked on a quest for a vaccine after witnessing COVID-19 deaths in her community. She walked miles to a church mission hospital, where there were none, and miles again to a district hospital, where nurses also had nothing and told her to go to the region’s main government hospital. That was too far away.
“I am giving up,” Dzimba said. “I don’t have the bus fare.”
South African health workers faced similar disappointment when they crowded into a parking garage last month, hoping for vaccinations and ignoring in their desperation the social distancing protocols. Many came away without a shot.
Femada Shamam, who is in charge of a group of old-age homes in the South African city of Durban, has seen only around half of the 1,600 elderly and frail people she looks after vaccinated. It is six months, almost to the day, since Britain began the global vaccination drive.
“They do feel very despondent and they do feel let down,” Shamam said of her unvaccinated residents, who are experiencing “huge anxiety” as they hunker down in their sealed-off homes 18 months into the outbreak. Twenty-two of her residents have died of COVID-19.
Originally Appeared Here