The World Health Organization has warned countries in Africa against easing restrictions too soon.
Dr Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said that they were concerned about countries easing movement restrictions too soon.
“We are seeing in Africa and in other parts of the world that when measures to suppress COVID-19 transmission are eased, cases creep up,” Dr Moeti Tshidi said, “So it is important that authorities and all communities have the capacity in place to react quickly and comprehensively with strong surveillance, testing, isolation and contact tracing.”
Leaders spreading misinformation
Dr Tshidi also called out leaders who were spreading misinformation to the public, stating that misinformation would do as much damage as COVID-19.
“We absolutely must be responsible for what we declare: it must be based on evidence. You cannot stand in front of a microphone and announce you don’t need to wear a mask,” she warned.
The news comes at a time when Africa has seen a sharp rise in COVID cases over the past month. The number of infections has now crossed 900,000, according to WHO Africa. Half of those cases came over the past few weeks. Over 550,000 have recovered while deaths have passed 18,000.
Quick interventions averted a crisis
Dr Tshidi, however, applauded African countries for their quick reaction to the virus once it began creeping across the continent.
She stated that countries had averted what could have been a much worse situation by taking ‘some very courageous decisions’.
However, she noted with concern about the growing cases in countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. While South Africa has seen the worst of COVID in Africa, a number of countries are witnessing a surge.
However, Dr Tshidi was quick to also praise countries such as Mauritius and Uganda as those that have managed to contain the spread of the contagion.
So far, Africa is the continent with the lowest COVID figures, but things are beginning to get worse.