Covid-19: “We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected”- Dr. Matshidiso Moeti
“We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected,” said Dr. Matshudiso Moeti.
The director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, couldn’t hide his disappointment during the Africa.com webinar series session 6 tagged “What’s the real story behind Africa’s COVID-19 figures?”
As stated on the Africa.com webinar series session, the world health body admitted the Dark Continent is succeeding in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
In April, Melinda Gates, wife of the world’s biggest philanthropist ‘Bill Gates’ on CNN couldn’t hide her fears for African countries looking at the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the white countries.
‘Look at what’s going on in Ecuador. They’re putting bodies out on the street. You’re going to see that in countries in Africa,” she said.
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She was lamenting how the developed world were not playing the white knight well enough in their response to the pandemic in Africa, a continent which, she believes, can’t afford washing of hands and social distancing because of poverty.
Much earlier and up till recently, the World Health Organisation, too, made its grim prediction: a quarter of a billion confirmed cases, and 190,000 deaths in Africa.
In fact Tedro Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, couldn’t hide his suspicion (of figure manipulation) two months ago when confirmed cases all over Africa was just 233. He believed people were dying, and it was just a matter of time when massive death reports would be exposed.
When not much happened to validate its claim two months later, WHO had to adjust its model, and crushed the number down to 1.2 million confirmed cases—for West Africa—143000 plus for Central Africa.
But, Wednesday, the UN agency could not hide its disappointment—or wonderment—at the still very low figures of infection and fatalities coming out of Africa.
“We are seeing fewer cases (in Africa) than expected,” said Moeti.
And things keep getting better.
According to her, West Africa recorded 16% daily growth rate of confirmed cases before April 1. The rate has now gone down to 6.5% .
In Central Africa, the growth rate reduced even more drastically: from 14 per cent before April 1 to 4 per cent now. While the number of cases expected in the region on May 17 was 149,353, the cases reported as of that day was 8,021.
“The WHO believes that Africa’s measures of curtailing the virus are working and are reporting a slowing down of the rate of spread,” Moeti said.
Contravening her D-G who in March nearly accused Africa of cooking its figures, Moeti said, “Countries with higher testing levels per 10,000 people and sharing of date suggested a true picture of the outbreak”.
She even made a point of Nigeria’s response to the Kano upsurge. And it was on the credit side. “For COVID-19 in Kano State Nigeria, authorities responded quickly to community alerts,” she said.
Africa has remained one of the continent with the lowest infection and death rates since Covid-19 broke out in December, starting from China, and spreading across the world by January.
The US has recorded more than 1 million confirmed cases and well over 100,000 deaths. More than 40,000 Britons have died. Italy, Spain, Russia have also recorded very high infection rates and fatality figures.
COVID-19 Quarantine: 18% in-bound passengers not traceable — Sanwo-Olu
By Gistflash News
July 12, 2021
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says 18 per cent of passengers that arrived Lagos through Murtala Mohammed Airport cannot be traced for COVID-19 quarantine.
Sanwo-Olu made this known on Sunday in the update of the coronavirus pandemic situation in Lagos State.
He said that between May 8, 2021 and July 7, 2021, a total of 50,322 passengers of interest arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport.
”Of the 50,322 passengers, 18 per cent could not be reached by EKOTELEMED because of the provision of either wrong numbers or wrong Nigerian contact details to be reached on,” the Chief Incident Commander said.
He said that it was the responsibility of passengers to ensure they provided the right details for them to be reached for proper monitoring.
”Going forward, passengers that do not provide the right details, including a phone number they can be reached for monitoring and an address for isolation, will face serious sanctions, including fines and imprisonment according to our Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
”As dictated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation.
”So far, we have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos State. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that sanctions were being recommended and had already been meted out to defaulters.
The governor said that the sanctions for foreigners were revocation of their Permanent Residency and deportation; while for Nigerians were prosecution to the full extent of the Lagos State COVID-19 Law.
He also said that greater vigilance was required at this time in the churches and mosques and other places of religious worship.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state was pleased that religious houses were now open for worship, after the lengthy closures of 2020, however, worshippers must not be carried away by the illusion that all was now back to normal.
”This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.
”The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
”For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols.
”There must be compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces,” he said.
COVID-19 taskforce uncovers Delta variant in Oyo State
By Gistflash News
July 12, 2021
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on July 8 confirmed the index case of the deadly Delta variant in Nigeria.
NCDC confirms deadly Delta variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria
By Gistflash News
July 9, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has detected a confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2, known as the Delta variant in Nigeria.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja.
NAN reports that the deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern.
The WHO said that the Delta variant was ‘dangerous’ and continued to evolve and mutate, and thus requiring constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response.
Ihekweazu said the variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
“As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, NCDC has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) and other laboratories within the national network to carry out genomic sequencing.
”This is to enable the detection of variants of concern and initiate response activities.
“All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data.
”Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travelers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.
“The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has initiated several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.
”This includes the introduction of travel restrictions for countries where there is a surge in cases associated with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.
“The national travel protocol which includes compulsory seven-day self-isolation and repeat test on the seventh day after arrival, are in place to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.
”It is very important that this is strictly adhered to, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria,” he explained.
Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, the NCDC boss urged all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing and proper use of face masks prevent infections and save lives.
”The COVID- 19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease,” he advised.
Additionally, he urged states to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 was accessible to Nigerians.
“Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population,” he added.
He said although Nigeria had seen a low number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in the last eight weeks, it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful.
“Please protect yourselves and the people you love by adhering to the known public health and social measures, getting vaccinated if you are eligible and getting tested if you have symptoms.”
The NCDC boss said the recommended control measures to limit the spread of the new variant was continued testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.
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