WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti [photo: Twitter]
Nov, 20th 2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned African countries of a possible upsurge in covid-19 over the Christmas festivities. WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said that the current trend of increased infections in the continent is worrying.
According to WHO, 19 countries have registered a 20% increase in infections over the past 28 days and especially those of health workers. In efforts to contain the virus, WHO has launched the Mask up not down campaign targeting over 40 million young people to teach the correct use of masks. Moeti is now urging Africans to recommit to wearing masks.
We are now nearing the time of year when people travel to spend their holidays together. These end-of-year get togethers are a key part of our lives in African countries, but they can certainly increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission
Moeti said, “We are now nearing the time of year when people travel to spend their holidays together. These end-of-year get togethers are a key part of our lives in African countries, but they can certainly increase the risk of #COVID-19 transmission.”
She added, “Outbreaks spread socially and we can stop them with safe social interactions. I ask everyone to be mindful of your individual risks and the risk of you loved ones, friends & neighbors.”
WHO warnings come after several African governments have reopened their schools, economies, borders and relaxing restrictions on gatherings and movements as there has been reports of citizens in countries violating the health protocols in place.
On the African continent, there has been over two million confirmed Covid-19 cases with more than 1.7 million recoveries and over 48,000 deaths, WHO says.
Moeti says, “New clusters of cases can emerge in places that have so far been unaffected as people travel or gather for festivities. But we can lower the risks by wearing masks, limiting the numbers of people who come together, observing physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene. We can celebrate yet do so safely.”
As Africa is seeing a spike in cases, Moeti advises that people need to recommit to wearing of masks. She says, “In the face of COVID-19, complacency can be dangerous.”
According to WHO, the second wave is driven by the North African region where temperature have begun to fall unlike the first wave which was triggered by hotspots in Southern Africa.