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W.H.O. urges caution in Africa over potential increase in COVID-19 cases

NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – The World Health Organsiation (W.H.O.) called on African countries to exercise caution regarding the coronavirus pandemic despite registering a downward trend in its curve during the past 90 days.

Africa continues to see contrasting statistics in different parts as some countries report declining tallies while others see a resurgence in the numbers of cases. Only three countries in the continent have reported more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases.

W.H.O. Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti warned that the decline in the number of cases had plateaued and the continent was at a “pivotal moment”.

“So, the continent is at a key juncture where countries could experience, an increase in cases. Sometimes called a new wave of increases,” Moeti said.

Moeti pointed out the development, even as the world was witnessing a resurgence in the number of new infections in Europe.

Europe, as a region, is reporting more daily cases than the United States, India and Brazil put together. The rise in cases is due to, far more testing being carried out than during the first wave of the pandemic.

On Friday, Europe reported more than 150,000 daily coronavirus cases in about a week after reporting 100,000 cases for the first time.

Moeti said it was essential that several African governments had been reopening their borders and schools, and relaxing restrictions on movement and gathering, adding that it was not desirable to have economies closed perpetually.

She further said she was happy to see that governments had used the lockdown period to strengthen their capacities to contain the pandemic.

“Working together with the W.H.O., Africa CDC and other partners African countries are now in a much better position to tackle challenges COVID-19 is throwing our way.”

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa, as of Saturday, stood at more than 1.6 million, according to figures from the W.H.O. while the number of deaths surpassed 38,000.

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