Africa is experiencing the longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections TOU

Africa is experiencing the longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections

 TOU

Africa is experiencing the longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections

From 308,000 weekly cases at the beginning of the year, the number of infections dropped to less than 20,000 in the week ending April 10.

About 18,000 cases and 239 deaths were reported last week, representing a relative decline of 29 percent and 37 percent, respectively, over the previous week.

Record decline, no resurgence

This low level of infection has not been seen since April 2020, WHO Said. The previous longest decline was between August 1 and October 10 last year.

In addition, there is currently no African country witnessing COVID-19 Recurrence, which is when there has been a 20 percent increase in cases for at least two consecutive weeks, and a week-to-week increase is 30 percent higher than the peak of the previous highest weekly infection.

Stay the course

Despite the declining transition, it is important for countries to remain vigilant against COVID-19, said WHO Regional Director for Africa. Said Matshidiso Moti.

Nations should also maintain surveillance measures, including rapid detection of viruses, increasing testing and increasing vaccinations.

“Because the virus is still circulating, there is a risk of new and potentially more deadly strains emerging, and epidemic control measures are crucial for an additional effective response to the infection,” she said.

Cold weather warning

The WHO has also warned of a higher risk of another wave of infection as the southern hemisphere’s cold season approaches between June and August.

Previous epidemic waves in Africa coincided with low temperatures, with people living mostly indoors and often in poorly ventilated spaces.

New types could also affect the evolution of the epidemic, now in its third year.

Recently, a new sub-lineage of the Omicron variant was discovered in Botswana and South Africa. Experts in these countries are doing more research to determine if it is more contagious or viral.

Variants known as BA.4 and BA.5 have also been confirmed in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. The WHO said that so far, there was “no significant epidemiological difference” between them and other well-known Omicron subspecies.

Weigh the risks

As infections in Africa dwindle, many countries have begun simplifying public health measures, including key COVID-19 measures, such as surveillance and quarantine, as well as a ban on wearing masks and gatherings.

The WHO urges governments to weigh the risks and benefits of mitigating these measures in light of their health system capacity, population immunity against COVID-19 and national socio-economic priorities.

The agency further advised that systems should be put in place to restore order quickly if the situation worsens.

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