Home News COVID-19 Coronavirus cases reach 10,000 in Africa

Coronavirus cases reach 10,000 in Africa

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The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa, according to the latest release by the World Health Organization has risen to more than 10 000 and caused more than 500 deaths.

WHO has warned African leaders that while the health threat posed by the pandemic and associated crisis seem considerably low compared to Europe and the US in particular, the infection is fast-growing exponentially, the need for stringent measures can no longer be compromised.

It observed that since Africa’s first COVID-19 case recorded in Egypt on 14 February, about 51 more countries are now managing confirmed cases, largely confined to capital cities, but has the potential to spread fast to areas with even more deprived health facilities with little or no assigned expertise to handle fresh cases should such regions/communities record outbreaks.

“COVID-19 has the potential not only to cause thousands of deaths but to also unleash economic and social devastation. Its spread beyond major cities means the opening of a new front in our fight against this virus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

He added “This requires a decentralised response, which is tailored to the local context. Communities need to be empowered, and provincial and district levels of government need to ensure they have the resources and expertise to respond to outbreaks locally.”

WHO said it is stepping up its collaboration with governments across Africa to scale up their capacities in critical response areas such as coordination, surveillance, testing, isolation, case management, contact tracing, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, and laboratory capacity.

The statement further stated… “It is critical that countries do all they can to prevent this outbreak from intensifying further. This means a strong public health response by every arm of government and every part of society.

WHO is working across Africa to deliver essential equipment, train health workers, clinicians and public servants on how best to respond to COVID-19, and to tailor global guidance to challenging local contexts. We are also working to address global market failures and ensure reliable and equitable distribution of essential supplies and equipment to low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa”

It noted that so far, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria have expanded national testing to multiple labs, allowing for decentralized testing.

These combined measures it observed, will ensure the rapid identification of cases, the tracking down and quarantining of contacts and the isolation and treatment of patients.

The WHO, however, advised that the most crucial strategy is to provide the public with accurate information to promote healthy behaviours. physical distancing measures, provision of stimulus packages and protection of health workers.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti noted with concern the impact of the pandemic on countries with fragile health systems and those experiencing complex emergencies. It called on the international community to extend technical and financial support to these countries to enhance response capacities including the acquisition of adequate intensive care unit capacities such as beds, ventilators and trained personnel, to minimize the spread of the outbreak.

WHO Regional Office for Africa comprises 47 countries which include Algeria and most of sub-Saharan Africa.

GHANA’S COVID-19 CASE

Ghana has so far recorded over 300 cases with 6 deaths as of Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Three patients are said to be in critical condition and three others have recovered.

Besides 50,000 Personal Protective Equipments ordered by President Nana Akufo Addo’s government, the country has received its consignment from the Chinese Billionaire, Jack Ma’s Foundation.

On Monday, Ghana again received from the Chinese government, 38,800 medical supplies include 3,000 N95 protective face masks, 10,000 protective face masks for all, 2,500 disposable overalls, 800 Infra-red Thermometers, 2,500 medical goggles, 10,000 single-use gloves and 10,000 disposable shoe covers.

All borders of the country remain closed. It has been extended for two more weeks. Parts of the country including Greater Accra, which is so far the epicenter with 256 confirmed cases, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa are under partial lockdown.

The Regional distribution of other COVID-19 confirmed cases are as follows: Ashanti (18), Northern (10), Upper West (1), Eastern (1) and Upper East (1).

Government has announced special incentive packages for frontline health staff including life insurance, 50% of basic salary as allowance covering the period from March, April, May and June and tax waivers.

Government has also given the green light to five local companies to produce PPEs to beef up supplies.

Test result of over 10,000 samples from persons identified through contact tracing is expected by the close of the week. This according to President Akufo Addo, in his national broadcast last Sunday will inform any decision to review, extend the partial lockdown or otherwise.

SOURCEGhanaWeb
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Amoah-Abankwa Emmanuel, (born January 21, Akim Oda, Ghana), Publisher, Promoter, Web Designer, Photographer, Cinematographer and Blogger best known for creating The Yen Motion, a popular Web site offering Showbiz and Music Updates.