The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, on Thursday said Africa now has over 25, 000 COVID-19 reported cases with South Africa accounting for most cases.
Moeti made this known during the WHO COVID-19 Africa Media briefing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WHO COVID-19 Africa Media is aimed at taking a look at how Africa has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic with focus on the situation in Nigeria.
The media briefing was organised with the support from the World Economic Forum as part of the COVID-19 Action Platform and how to minimise its impact in Africa.
The speakers were: Moeti; the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu; National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force, COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu; and WHO Emergency Operation Programme Manager, Dr Michael Yao.
Moeti, responding to the number of COVID-19 cases, said that Africa now accounted for more than 25,000 confirmed cases.
“On the African continent, we now have more than 25,000 confirmed cases which brings to concern increase in some countries in West Africa.
“South Africa remains the most affected country with 3,300 cases.
“We are working through our country representatives to advise and advocate with the government to stem the tide.
“South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire and Guinea are the most affected by the pandemic in the WHO African region in terms of the number of cases.
“Together these countries account for 66 per cent of cases in the region as there have been an increase of 43 per cent in the past week and 38 per cent increase in the number of deaths reported,” she said.
Moeti also commended Nigeria for the efforts at curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that there were concerns about various methods being adopted to curb spread of the pandemic.
“In Nigeria, we are seeing strong leadership, private sector partnerships and scaling-up the key public health measures.
“We recognise the challenges of locking down a city in the presence of social economic situation and balancing that with the socioeconomic impact.
“We are concerned that in some settings, physical distancing measures are preventing people from accessing life-saving health services. Even, in times of lockdown, these essential services must continue.
“We will continue to urge the government to follow the data and works in ways that are evidence-based,” she said. (NAN)