Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou (AP) — Only one in seven COVID-19 infections have been detected in Africa. That is, an estimated infection level on the African Continent could reach 59 million, according to a new World Health Organization survey.
At a press conference on Thursday, Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of WHO in Africa, said:
To obtain more accurate infections and better control infections, the United Nations plans to increase rapid diagnostic testing in eight African countries with the goal of testing 7 million people next year. increase.
Moeti said the initiative is a “fundamental” new approach to moving from passive monitoring to active monitoring in collaboration with the community. She said rapid testing is affordable, reliable, easy to use, and results in less than 15 minutes. An additional 360,000 cases are expected to be detected using the test, she said, about 75% of them being asymptomatic or mild.
This initiative is based on the so-called ring strategy used to eradicate smallpox and implemented during the outbreak of Ebola. This is called the ring method because it targets people who live within 100 meters (110 yards) of the newly identified case.
Medical experts welcomed this approach, saying it would help the continent stay ahead of the pandemic rather than catch up. Since the outbreak, Africa has recorded more than 8 million COVID-19 cases and 214,000 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ngozi Erondu, a senior scholar at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute, uses rapid testing to help avoid overwhelming health care systems and enforce limits that can be “disastrous in terms of economic impact.” Will also be provided to the authorities.
However, the United Nations has warned that with millions of undetected cases in Africa, there is an urgent need to speed up access to vaccines on the continent of Africa, which has been delayed in arrival. Immunization rates in Africa are low. According to the United Nations, many high-income countries have achieved vaccination rates of nearly 90%, while only 30% of the 54 continental countries have fully vaccinated 10% of their population. is.
With a year-end travel approach that is expected to cause a surge in incidents, Moeti said African nations should be prepared for a possible fourth wave. She urged wealthy nations to share significant doses with Africa right now, rather than waiting until next year.
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Africa has detected only one of seven COVID-19 cases, a WHO study states | WGN Radio 720
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