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Africa sees downward trend in Covid-19 cases

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The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says it is encouraged by the downward trend of Covid-19 cases on the continent.

THE AFRICA Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) says it is encouraged by the downward trend of Covid-19 cases on the continent.

This is as a number of countries are experiencing a fourth wave of infections.

As of September 23, 8.1 million cases had been reported in the different member states, accounting for 3.6% of the Covid-19 cases reported globally, the Africa CDC said.

“The continent is still going through a severe third wave –78% of our member states are currently going through the third wave. And of these, 32 are experiencing a severe third wave. Seven countries, including Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Somalia, and Tunisia, are currently experiencing the fourth wave. Of that number, four of them are going through a severe fourth wave,” said Africa CDC director Dr John Nkengasong.

They were, however, encouraged by the recent downward trend in the number of coronavirus cases registered across the continent.

“Between September 13 and 19, a total of 104,000 new cases were reported across the continent, and this represents a 22% decrease in the number of new cases reported during that period compared to the previous week.

“If you look at the four-week period between August 30 and September 19, we observed a 19 percent average decrease in new cases reported during this period.

“We also continue to be encouraged by the progress we are seeing in several countries as they move towards full vaccination,” added Nkengasong.

The AU through the Africa CDC, and together with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), meanwhile, is ensuring that African countries continue to receive vaccines, and to date has delivered 4.4 million doses out of 400 million of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to 26 member states.

“The government of India will release and export vaccines come October. We welcome the good news because it will help us meet our target of vaccinating at least 60% of the African population by the end of next year,” Nkengasong said.

“More donations continue to arrive on the continent. Norway has donated about 400,000 vaccines of AstraZeneca to Uganda, 124,000 to Zambia, and this brings the total that Norway has donated, to 726,000. Germany has also donated more than 8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines.“

Africa CDC is also set to launch the Eastern regional co-ordination centre (RCC) in Kenya on October 1, under the theme of “Ensuring effective preparedness and response to current public health threats in the context of Covid-19 and beyond”.

The RCC serves as a hub for Africa CDC surveillance, preparedness, and emergency response activities, and co-ordinates regional public health initiatives by member states in consultation with the Africa CDC headquarters.

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