The Delta variant of the virus, first identified in India, may be playing a role in driving the rapid rise in infections, said Nkengasong.
Winter in the southern hemisphere could also be worsening the numbers given that more people are indoors, allowing the virus to spread more easily.
African countries have got 80% of Covid-19 vaccines acquired to date into people’s arms, but only 1% of the population is fully vaccinated.
“We are not winning in Africa … not at all! We need rapid access [to vaccines],” said Africa’s public health chief.
“The key, a plea, is for continuous support to the continent. We are very desperate to scale up vaccines and have used 80% of the vaccines acquired.”