ENA,March 20/2020 The World Health Organization (WHO) urged African governments to prevent local transmission of COVID-19 from evolving into a worst case scenario of widespread sustained community transmission.
More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 34 countries in Africa as of 19 March, compared with 147 cases one week ago.
World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said such a scenario will present a major challenge to countries with weak health systems in the continent.
“The rapid evolution of COVID-19 in Africa is deeply worrisome and a clear signal for action,” she said.
However, Africa can still change the course of this pandemic, she said adding that governments must draw on all of their resources and capabilities and strengthen their response.
“Africa can learn from the experiences of other countries which have seen a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases through rapidly scaling up testing, isolating cases and meticulously tracking contacts,” Dr. Moeti noted.
The director also underlined the need to adapting the response efforts to the African context, stating the fact that demographics on the continent are very different from China, Europe and the USA.
She underlined that the responses need to be adapted to the African context, where the demographics on the continent are very different from China, Europe and the USA.
Africa has the world’s youngest population and it appears that older people are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Coronavirus is one of the biggest health challenges Africa has faced in a generation.