File picture: Sophia Sandurskaya / AP Photo.
File picture: Sophia Sandurskaya / AP Photo.

Africa's Covid-19 death toll hits 2000, WHO reports

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published May 7, 2020

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Rustenburg - More than 51 000 cases of Covid-19 and 2000 deaths have been recorded on the African continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

"We know that to stop the spread of this virus, the key public health measures need to be in place in every community, even where cases have not been reported, readiness capacities should be in place," WHO regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said during a live media briefing in Brazzaville .

"Overall, looking at the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, and especially now we are looking at community spread in some countries, we are estimating that this will peak in four to six weeks if nothing is done," Moeti added .

"We are very concerned that almost 1000 African health-care workers have been infected with Covid-19. We know that most African countries already have a severe shortage of health-care workers, and when our front-line workers fall ill or are absent from work, communities do not have access to essential services like immunisation, safe deliveries and treatment for chronic and infectious diseases, in addition to what impact these shortages will have on our capability to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic."

She said that due to the global shortage of personal protective equipment, front-line health-care workers were at risk of infection.

South Africa's Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday that  511 health workers in the country have been infected with Covid-19 and that a doctor and a nurse have 
died.

Moeti said the economic impact of Covid-19 would harm vulnerable communities in particular.

"We need balanced action to save lives and livelihoods even as we act to control the pandemic. The private sector has a vital role to play, from providing care to those who are affected, to manufacturing the key items required for the response, as well as innovating and developing new tools, such as vaccines and medicine." 

African News Agency (ANA)

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