Africa Covid cases hit 10 million mark

Africa CDC says the African continent has hit the 10 million mark in Covid-19 infections mainly driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

While giving the weekly update, the Director of Africa CDC Dr John Nkengasong said the omicron variant is highly transmissible because it affects the upper respiratory tract.

“The science behind the lack of severity of omicron is because the virus affects the cells in the upper respiratory tract around the mouth and nostrils and not abundantly in the lungs, so when you speak and breath you put it out quite quickly,” said Dr. Nkengasong.

He urged for caution because the Omicron is affecting a large number of people, the chances are that it will increase the level of natural immunity, but was quick to add that the numbers of infections are high as well as the number of deaths.

Dr. Nkengasong called for continued observance of public health measures aimed at reducing transmission of Covid-19.

He noted that a combination of public health measures including; washing hands with soap and water, wearing facemasks as well as keep social distancing as well as increased vaccination and testing for Covid-19 will help to reduce transmission.

Dr. Nkengasong further noted that managing Covid-19 has changed to mitigation from containing the virus since the transmission is now widespread. He noted that with mass testing and vaccine administration, the continent is more equipped to deal with Covid-19 even as the disease becomes endemic and could soon be like flu.

“We no longer in the logic of containing the virus on the continent or elsewhere we are now doing mitigation,” he said and added, “we are now looking at how much we can manage the pandemic to bring it to manageable levels, it becomes manageable like the way we manage the flu outbreaks.”

  

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