The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised concerns over rise in cases of coronavirus in the continent, saying governments across the black nation must put out effective measures and solid emergency health response to mitigate the viral infection spread.
It explained that the call had become imperative to ensure governments on the continent maintain necessary measure against COVID-19 spreading following rise in confirmed cases of the virus.
Africa CDC Head, John Nkengasong, said that with new cases in last one week rising up up 24% in Africa, there is a need for the continent to restrategize its response against the deadly respiratory disease and come up with lasting preventive measures pending when experts develop a vaccine for the infection.
Briefing newsmen during a virtual news conference from Addis Ababa on Thursday, Nkengasong, urged African countries to urgently scale up coronavirus testing and the use of face masks as the epidemic gains traction across the continent with confirmed cases topping half a million.
According to him, five countries account for 71% of infections in Africa including Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Algeria.
“The pandemic is gaining full momentum.
“We must adopt an aggressive and bold approach: mask on all faces, ramp up Test, Trace, and Treat, strengthen community response. This will save lives and save (the) economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, data from governments and the World Health Organization showed that Africa had 512,039 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 11,915 deaths, as of Thursday.
A shortage of reliable data afflicts many African nations, and some governments have been reluctant to acknowledge epidemics or to expose crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny. Other nations are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out significant testing.
Many have also started gradually easing lockdowns to reopen hard-hit economies, though governments are conscious that opening up too quickly could lead to a spike in new cases.