AFRICA – Africa is winning the fight against Covid-19 infections, but experts have warned that the continent must not lower the guard.
The head of Africa CDC, John Nkengasong has called on governments to remain vigilant saying the lull in levels of infection on the continent is likely to lead to another spike in cases in coming months.
Some European countries are already dealing with a spike in infections, especially in unvaccinated clusters of the population, Mr Nkengasong added.
“We’re now at the trough of the peaks and this is the period to do something to curb another peak by expanding testing and vaccination as much as possible so that the continent doesn’t have to suffer further through blanket lockdowns and extensive health and economic damage when we have another peak,” warned Dr Nkengasong, noting that they had observed reduced emphasis on social distancing especially in countries in electioneering season.
He said with the highly infectious Delta variant now dominant throughout the continent, even with the slowdown in infections, danger still looms due to low levels of vaccination and testing.
“Over close to two years Africa has been dealing with the virus and we know that each time we offer it a chance to spread, it will. The virus we’re dealing with especially the now dominant Delta variant transmits very fast and if you render the opportunity for the virus to spread it will.”
‘‘If we lower our guards, we should expect to be up battling high infections again in two or three months’ time again,” said Nkengasong.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 8,527,394 cases as of Sunday afternoon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU), said the death toll from the pandemic across the continent stands at 219,418. Some 7,937,016 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease so far.
South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the agency.
South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with nearly 3 million cases, while the northern African country of Morocco reported 947,307 as of Sunday afternoon.
In terms of the caseloads, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.