WHO concerned as COVID-19 cases rise in Africa

With more than 6000 COVID-19 cases reported in Africa, the virus is threatening fragile health systems on the continent. Infections are increasingly spreading not only between African countries but within different localities in the hardest-hit countries.

For instance, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where COVID-19 cases were at first confined to Kinshasa, now a handful of cases have been reported in the easternmost regions of the country that were until recently in the grip of an Ebola outbreak. In South Africa, all provinces have now reported cases. The outbreaks in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal are also widespread.

“Case numbers are increasing exponentially in the African region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa “It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the Region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first thousand. Three days after this, there were 2000 cases, and two days later we were at 3000.”

To contain COVID-19, many countries in Africa are implementing measures, which restrict gatherings and the movement of people. Nationwide lockdowns are in effect in Kenya, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. However, governments must use these measures in a considered, evidence-based manner, and make sure that people can continue to access basic necessities.

As many people in the region live in crowded conditions or work in the informal sector and need to earn money daily to survive, it is important that countries make provisions to ensure that people can still access essential services. WHO is working closely with national governments and United Nations partners including the World Food Programme (WFP) to plan for these needs.

Dr Moeti and Ms Lola Castro, the WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, addressed the restrictive measures during a virtual media briefing held today by the WHO Regional Office for Africa with the support of the World Economic Forum.

“For socially restrictive measures to be effective, they must be accompanied by strong, sustained and targeted public health measures that locate, isolate, test and treat COVID-19 cases,” Dr Moeti pointed out.

“It’s vital that ports continue to operate to receive food and other essential humanitarian cargo; that borders and roads stay open so it can be moved where it is most needed; and that distributions to vulnerable people are conducted safely,” said Ms Castro.

“It’s also crucial that the international community promptly provide the considerable funding needed to maintain and scale up assistance programmes.”

As well as ensuring basic needs are met, WHO is pursuing innovative solutions to the region’s pressing public health problems. On 1 April 2020, WHO hosted an online training session on the clinical management of COVID-19 cases. Nearly 500 attendees from across Africa logged in to learn about issues including case characterization and triage, treating severely ill cases, infection prevention and control, and how to quarantine and manage cases in the community. WHO also hosted a three-day ‘hackathon’, bringing together Africa’s brightest minds to find solutions to some of the problems COVID-19 has presented

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TODAY NEWS AFRICA
TODAY NEWS AFRICA
Today News Africa is a widely read and respected U.S.-based publication that addresses the continent of Africa in news to provide relevant information for people and business from around the world.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The spread of the virus is increasing on a daily basis instead of decreasing with all of the preventive measures recommended by WHO and being applied by many African Countries. We hope that our government will be sincere in distributing whatever relief given by WHO to safe the of many that are underprivileged. God help us…

  2. African Continents nations and peoples have since days of slave traders and European Colonizers have never been any more than a resource for the, let’s be blunt, white Europeans and their own Black leaders;
    From lands of un-paralelled riches, all of which profit the few who call themselves goverment agents but who in reality are no more than administrative staffs in the employ of foreign industrial and financial powers.
    In past it began with capturing and physicly enslaving people to be used up as cheap labor while today their labors are even less expensive to their old colonial masters than back then.
    While billions into the trillions of valuable resources fled their lands, the billions that for last 20-30 years left in countries disappeared with damn little being spent outside of Capital cities for those who were kept enslaved in poverty that worked and died as poor or poorer than day when born.
    Now at this time their “leaders” have to beg funds from their colonial masters thatbwill in truth save, maybe a few poor from death, keep wealth concentrated and protected of foreign approved domestic government and financial interest, and for years to come the debts incurred today will not be paid by those protected interest but by their poorest of populations sweat and lands resources.
    Once leaders enbeggar their national economy by using future resource extractions that leave nation, it becomes a vicious cycle where they are paying yesterday’s bills, with interest and penalties, out of present wages, leaving nothing in bank for wealth growth and building an independent economy.
    Their most intelligent and ambitious youth, those most in need by foreign industrials leave for foreign shores and those that remain left with joining the new form of slavery managers in government positions.
    When Black Nationalist and African Unity voices speak up, they are either jailed or shut up by their own governments ,governments that fear loss of paychecks if their masters become disturbed and are not obeyed.
    This is my opinion and has no racist intent for I see this very same pattern ongoing where every the Eurocentrics intervene, wether in Asia, Africa, Central and South America and everyday becoming the common theme in my own nation the USA.
    The fact is instead of unity by we the poor, we allow our masters to blame others for our poverty and we like dumb as rock animals are pitted against our fellow poor.
    Wearing a white mans suit will never make one white in a white mans eyes, as is it is with the wealthy and powerfull who look upon the poor as being poor because they are meant to be poor.

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