The World Health Organization talks about a defining moment about Corona…
The Director of Africa at the World Health Organization, Machidisu Moeti, warned, Thursday, that Africa is facing a “decisive moment” in its war against the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, with the high numbers of infections and deaths after the easing of closures and travel restrictions.
During the past month, the average increase in weekly infections with the virus was 7 percent across the continent, and the average weekly death rate increased to 8 percent, according to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
“Indeed, we are at a decisive moment for the spread of the pandemic in Africa,” Moeti said during a press conference. While the continent witnessed a downward trend in the virus outbreak index during the last three months, this decline has stabilized.
Despite initial fears that the pandemic might devastate the region, the 55 African Union countries have recorded about 1.6 million infections so far, representing only 4.2 percent of the total infections in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Africa.
As for the deaths on the continent, which amounted to about 39 thousand, they represent 3.6 percent of the total global deaths.
John Nkengasung, director of the Africa CDC, said that many countries have imposed punitive lockdown measures and restricted travel for long periods, measures that will be difficult to reintroduce in response to a new outbreak of the virus.
He added, “We see what is happening in Europe as they ease the lockdown measures, how the numbers of new infections have increased, and even many countries are considering imposing a second closure. We cannot bear that.”
“We cannot let this virus undo the gains we have made in recent months since the outbreak of the pandemic began,” he added.
South Africa has recorded about half of HIV infections on the continent.
In North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya recorded large increases in injuries in recent weeks.
Moeti said that compared with the start of the pandemic, African countries “are now in a much better position to face the new challenges that Covid-19 poses on our way,” referring to the significant increases in testing and respirators.
But she expressed concern about the impact of increased infections in Europe on the continent.
“We know the close connection between Africa and Europe,” she said, adding, “Therefore, we are concerned about the high number of infections in Europe at the same time that travelers and tourists from there are allowed to enter Africa.”
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