Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

'Africa is only region to have unified strategy on COVID-19'

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns what is happening in other parts of world can happen in Africa ‘if we let down our guard'

Felix Nkambeh Tih   | 09.05.2021
'Africa is only region to have unified strategy on COVID-19'

ANKARA

Africa is the only region to have developed a unified continental strategy for the coronavirus pandemic that has delivered results, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the remarks at a high-level emergency virtual meeting of African health ministers on the situation in Africa.

He said although Africa has suffered, "we have not yet seen the same scale of devastation in Africa as we have in some other regions."

"We have seen an encouraging decline in cases and deaths since the peak in mid-January; however, several countries in the continent continue to report sustained transmission and increases in some areas," he said.

Tedros warned that what is happening in many other parts of the world can happen on the African continent "if we let down our guard."

"Although our continent has seen fewer cases and deaths than other regions, Africa has suffered from major disruptions to health systems and health services," he said.

Africa has administered 19.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or 2% of the global total, 80% of all doses administered globally have been in high and upper middle-income countries, according to Tedros.

"We’re pleased that with the support of COVAX, 47 countries on the African continent have started vaccinating, but we know the volumes of vaccines are nowhere near enough," he said.

He thanked South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat for their leadership and all ministers who participated in the first meeting, and also thanked Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.

There are more than 4.6 million confirmed cases in Africa - with more than 4.1 million recoveries and 123,000 deaths, according to WHO figures.


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