KAMPALA/NAIROBI (The Southern African Times) – Africa is beginning to slowly “bend the curve” of COVID-19 infections as measures like mask-wearing and social distancing slow down the spread of the pandemic on the continent, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.
Although the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak was slow in Africa in the early stages of the pandemic, the rate of infection gradually accelerated especially in South Africa, which now accounts for more than half of its case load of more than 1.1 million.
On average, there were signs of a decline in new infections across Africa over the last two weeks, said John Nkengasong, head of Africa CDC.
“So I think that is really some sign of hope that we are beginning to bend the curve slowly. We take this news with cautious optimism,” he said.
Africa’s caseload has remained relatively low compared to other continents, a factor that has been attributed to its relative isolation.
Low levels of testing in many countries also means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported, according to some experts.
Moeti said the slowing infections in Africa was encouraging but that “we cannot be complacent. Cases are continuing to increase in some countries particularly as borders, businesses and schools are opening up.”