AU Launches “Saving Lives, Economies and Livelihoods” Campaign to Reduce Risks of COVID-19

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Addis Ababa, August 22/2020(ENA)“Saving Lives, Economies and Livelihoods” campaign which targeted to protect African countries from the risk of the increased COVID-19 transmission, launched in Addis Ababa. 

According to a statement from the African Union Commission, the campaign will facilitate the development of a harmonized strategy to protect borders, travelers, economies, livelihoods, and schools in the continent from the risk of COVID-19 transmission as countries begin to re-open their borders.

The campaign is being implemented by the Africa Task Force for Novel Coronavirus of the African Union, which includes representatives of the Africa CDC, World Health Organization,   African Union NEPAD, UNICEF, AU Member States, public health institutions, and several partners.

“Noting that we do not have a vaccine yet, and recognizing the socio-economic effects of the pandemic on Member States, we must continue to be proactive so that we do not lose the precious gains made with the preventive measures,”  Commissioner for Social Affairs at the AU, Amira Mohammed pointed out.   

Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid for her part said that transport is a catalyst for many of the big initiatives on the continent such as the Single African Air Transport Market and the Continental Free Trade Area, but transport has been halted around the world, affecting most sectors.   

She stated that “It is important to work together as a continent to turn this crisis into an opportunity to improve our systems so we can reopen our economies quickly and safely.”

“When we talk about easing the lockdown of economies and border crossings, it’s all about people. It’s about how easily we can facilitate the movement of people while at the same time ensuring critical public health measures are in place,” said Director of Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong.

The campaign will leverage the African Union’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) initiative to scale up testing, contact tracing and treatment in Africa, the statement indicated.