It’s time Africa strengthens her response against Covid-19


Dr. Abdiqani Sheikh Omar

For several weeks, Africa CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been pressing African governments to up their game for an inevitable second wave.

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The second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is now hitting Africa hard and most countries already fragile health system grapples with the spike in daily new infections that some hospital authorities believe is due to the new coronavirus strain.

There is a surge in the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and it is being fueled by the new variants of the virus, the World Health Organization recently warned.

African nations must strengthen their responses against the SARS-COV-2 variants feared to be circulating in the continent.

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All African nations have been urged by the WHO to ship at least 20 samples to sequencing laboratories every month to help map the fast-evolving situation and best target responses at all levels.

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The second wave of the pandemic is worrying due to the poor health infrastructure in Africa. Under these circumstances, testing and tracing are key public health interventions to contain the pandemic. But just 30 million tests have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

To curb the second wave of the pandemic, WHO called upon the African nations to ramp up testing, isolation of contacts, and treatment of patients. Proven prevention measures like wearing masks, hand washing, and safe social distancing were also suggested to be enhanced.

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Unless Africa start to focus on getting a vaccine to complement our immunity that’s been generated through natural infection, we are not going to be able to stop this pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to begin arriving in Somalia next month whose total caseload jumped from just under 5,000 to over 6,000 this month alone.

Africa will need massive vaccination campaigns and other measures to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with patients.

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The existing vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech are effective against coronavirus variants that have emerged in South Africa and United Kingdom, WHO confirmed in a statement released on 27 Jan 2021.

The writer, Dr. Abdiqani Sheikh Omar is a Senior WASH Strategic Policy Advisor at
the Ministry of Energy and Water in Somalia and Former Director General at Ministry of Health and Human Service, FGs.

The writer, Dr. Abdiqani Sheikh Omar is a Senior WASH Strategic Policy Advisor at
the Ministry of Energy and Water in Somalia and Former Director General at Ministry of Health and Human Service, FGs.

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