WHO warns Africa in easing up on Covid-19

01Aug 2020
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
WHO warns Africa in easing up on Covid-19

THE World Health Organization has warned Africa against easing coronavirus restrictions as the number of infections on the continent has doubled in the past month.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said at a virtual news conference that the UN agency is concerned that Africa will see an increase in cases “as we have seen in countries where restrictions have been eased too soon.”

She said more than 20 African countries have recorded more new cases lately than in previous weeks, with South Africa accounting for the largest number, but increases were also reported in Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Moeti said Uganda, Seychelles and Mauritius are doing well in controlling the virus.

The agency said there were nearly 890,000confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa and 18,000 deaths so far.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a new warning to young people across the world to not consider themselves invulnerable to contracting COVID-19, the malady caused by the coronavirus.

“Although older people are at a higher risk of severe disease, younger people are at risk too,” he said. “One of the challenges we face is convincing younger people of this risk.

“Evidence suggests that spikes of cases in some countries are being driven in part by younger people letting down their guard during the northern (hemisphere) summer,” Tedros said.

“We have said it before and we’ll say it again: Young people are not invincible,” he said.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide topped the 17 million mark, with nearly 670,000 deaths. The rising number of COVID-19 cases has researchers racing to develop and test a vaccine to blunt the spread of the virus.

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