Africa experiencing longest-running decline in COVID-19 infections

Infections have plummeted from over 308,000 instances weekly firstly of the 12 months to lower than 20,000 within the week ending 10 April. 

Round 18,000 instances and 239 deaths have been recorded over the previous week, representing respective declines of 29 per cent and 37 per cent when in comparison with the earlier week. 

Report decline, no resurgence 

This low stage of an infection has not been seen since April 2020, WHO said.  The earlier longest decline was between 1 August and 10 October of final 12 months. 

Moreover, no African nation is at present witnessing COVID-19 resurgence, which is when there was a 20 per cent enhance in instances for no less than two consecutive weeks, and the week-on-week rise is 30 per cent above the earlier highest weekly an infection peak. 

Keep the course 

Regardless of the reducing infections, it’s essential that nations stay vigilant towards COVID-19, mentioned WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti. 

Nations should additionally preserve surveillance measures, together with to swiftly detect virus variants, improve testing and scale up vaccination. 

“With the virus nonetheless circulating, the chance of latest and probably extra lethal variants rising stays, and the pandemic management measures are pivotal to efficient response to a surge in infections,” she mentioned. 

Chilly season warning 

WHO has additionally warned of the excessive threat of one other wave of infections because the chilly season approaches within the southern hemisphere, from June by way of August. 

Earlier pandemic waves in Africa have coincided with decrease temperatures, with individuals largely remaining indoors and sometimes in poorly ventilated areas. 

New variants may have an effect on the evolution of the pandemic, now in its third 12 months.   

Lately, new sub-lineages of the Omicron variant have been detected in Botswana and South Africa. Consultants in these nations are conducting additional analysis to find out whether or not they’re extra infectious or virulent. 

The variants, often known as BA.4 and BA.5, have additionally been confirmed in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the UK. WHO mentioned up to now, there’s “no vital epidemiological distinction” between them and different recognized Omicron sub-lineages.  

Weigh the dangers 

As infections recede in Africa, a number of nations have begun easing key COVID-19 measures, corresponding to surveillance and quarantine, in addition to public well being measures together with mask-wearing and bans on mass gatherings. 

WHO is urging governments to weigh the dangers and advantages of stress-free these measures, taking into account the capability of their well being techniques, inhabitants immunity to COVID-19, and nationwide socio-economic priorities. 

The company additional suggested that techniques needs to be in place to rapidly reinstate measures ought to the state of affairs worsen.  

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