COVID-19: cases low in Africa due to strong leadership

WHO Africa director says they have trained 10,000 health workers in Africa as part of decentralization of virus response

Coronavirus cases in Africa remain lower than in some other parts of the world due to “strong country leadership,” the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Africa said on Thursday.

Africa has just 1.5% of the world’s reported cases of COVID-19, and less than 0.1 % of the world’s deaths, according to the UN health agency.

“With strong country leadership and implementation of social and public health measures, cases in Africa remain lower than in some other parts of the world,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti told a joint media briefing with WHO and the World Economic Forum.

”However, we cannot let our guard down, and we cannot be complacent.”

“Yesterday marked three months since the first COVID-19 case was reported in sub-Saharan Africa in Nigeria. In this time, governments have been working day and night, with support from WHO and our partners to contain the spread of this virus,” she said.

More than 5,000 people across Africa tested positive for COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, marking the continent’s highest single-day spike to date, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.New cases have pushed the overall count up to 124,482, with 51,095 recoveries and 3,696 deaths.

“Overall, we are seeing more people dying in the older age groups, though we are seeing a larger population of cases among those who are younger,” Moeti said.

She added that so far the WHO has trained more than 10,000 health workers in Africa “as part of the decentralization of the response, in areas such as infection prevention and control, case management, logistics and psychosocial support.”