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WHO to Examine COVID-19 Cases in Africa

According to WHO officials, scrutiny is needed to ascertain whether the right numbers of infected persons are being reported. There have been reports of some African countries like Egypt are under-declaring the number of infected persons.
According to WHO, some African Countries are under declaring how many infected persons they might have

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The World Health Organization-WHO will scrutinize the COVID-19 cases that have been reported in Africa.

 This comes at a time when more countries on the African continent seem to be reporting cases of the disease.

According to WHO officials, scrutiny is needed to ascertain whether the right numbers of infected persons are being reported. There have been reports of some African countries like Egypt are under-declaring the number of infected persons.

Research carried out by Canadian disease experts estimates that the country should be reporting 19,319 cases according to flight and traveller data and infection rate. The study traced 97 cases of foreign nationals that travelled from Egypt and have been confirmed as having the disease.

Dr Michael Ryan, the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program says that several challenges are still visible on the continent. He says one of the biggest issues is the number of people that are being reported by WHO.

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As of Monday, there are 346 cases in 24 countries.

Countries with the highest reports cases are; Egypt with 126 followed by South Africa with 61 cases and Algeria with 48. Morocco has 28 cases while Senegal has 24. Tunisia stands at 20 confirmed cases.

In East Africa, Kenya and Rwanda have each reported 3 and 5 cases respectively.  

When the COVID-19 was declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern-PHEIC, there was worry that given poor health systems, Africa was likely to be one of the worst-hit continents. However, the first case was reported from Egypt came in early March.  

 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that the UN health agency’s main concern has been on protecting Africa. He says that with new cases, the focus is being put on ensuring that all countries can handle any eventually reported case.  

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Dr Ryan adds that most prepared plans never make it to district levels in Africa. He says WHO is going to make sure that all African countries can move their national plans from the national level to the grassroots.  

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WHO has been providing countries with testing kits for the diseases. At the moment, more than 40 countries on the continent can test for the disease and as such accurate test results can be used. The continent has moved from preparedness to response plans.

 WHO Africa Regional directors, Dr Matshidiso Moeti says that with the increase in several African countries reporting numbers it is important for to get ahead.

“With cases across countries in Africa, this pandemic is a reality we must face up-front. We can change the course of this pandemic by getting ahead of the virus.” Dr Moeti said.

Despite the high numbers of infected persons, WHO has continuously reassured people that the disease is manageable. Globally, 169,484 cases have been reported. 67,003 of those cases have recovered. 

Dr Maria Van Kerhove, the WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead says that low numbers are reported due to the amount of time it takes for one to receive treatment.

“We know how to fight this pandemic. We should not be scared but work towards eradicating it. People have recovered from the disease so it is not very fatal. The only reason we have what some are referring to as low numbers is that it takes some six weeks for people to get treatment,” she said.