W.H.O. Warns Against ‘Apathy’ in Efforts to Contain Covid in Africa

Date:

Share post:


Regional officials from the World Health Organization warned Thursday that coronavirus cases are rising and that vaccination efforts are slowing in some African countries. To stop the pandemic in Africa.

Precautions like mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing have declined drastically in many countries as people become inured to the pandemic and government officials push for a return to normal life, Dr. Pamela Mitula, an epidemiologist and vaccine specialist with the W.H.O.’s regional office for Africa, said at a news conference. Many countries have relaxed their Covid-19 policies over the past few months, including Schools are fully reopeneduniversities by removing mask mandates, allowing large elections, and suspending testing requirements for international travelers.

“On this apathy, what we would say is that countries should really be encouraged and reminded that the pandemic is far from over,” Dr. Mitula said. “They need to be vigilant.”

Africa has reported more than 12 million virus cases and 255,442 deaths from Covid-19 so far, according to the W.H.O., and both figures almost certainly understate the pandemic’s true toll.

Highly transmissible Omicron virus subvariants are causing a tsunami of infections on the continent. This is especially true in North Africa where the number of new cases increased by 17 percent last week according to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti of the W.H.O. Africa regional director.

Dr. Moeti said she expected the upward trend in North Africa — concentrated so far in Morocco and Tunisia — to start to recede in the next few weeks, as happened recently in southern African nations like Namibia and Botswana, because of improved detection and response mechanisms.

She said that the risk of more viral outbreaks should be enough to make countries vaccinate more people, especially older residents and those with underlying medical conditions. As of July 10, just 21.1 percent of Africa’s 1.2 billion population was fully vaccinated, according to the W.H.O.

“This phase of the pandemic may well be characterized by relatively low incidence and much lower risk for hospitalization and death,” Dr. Moeti said, “but the Omicron variant remains highly transmissible.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

spot_img

Related articles

The Benefits of a Creative Subscription with Envato Elements

If you’re looking to find and use royalty-free images and other creative resources, it can be tough to...

Get an Additional ₹100 Cashback When You Pay with Domino’s Digital Wallet Partners

How does ₹100 cashback sound? Find out more about the additional cashback you can get when you pay...

Get Unlimited Access to DataCamp’s Library of Online Courses

DataCamp subscriptions enable access to over 300 courses, as well as projects, assessments, and additional content. Whether you're...

Why You Should Buy from DaMENSCH: The Best in Quality, Service, and Value

Buying products online can be dangerous; you never know if you’re getting an authentic product, or one that’s...