CAPE TOWN – About 1.58 million people in Africa have been infected with Covid-19 and 38 597 have died from the virus. Comparing the continent with other regions in the world, Africa has done better than expected in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.
Addressing the Financial Times Africa Summit, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said: “One of the few encouraging trends is in Africa, which has been less affected than other regions and is now the only region where cases are not increasing. The current downward trend is cause for optimism. However, just as with the rest of the world, Africa must remain vigilant with this virus.”
Southern Africa recorded 762,300 cases, North Africa 395,400, East Africa 186,000, West Africa 182,000 and Central Africa 58,800.
At least 19,200 people have died of the infection in Southern Africa, 12,100 in North Africa, 3,500 in East Africa, 2,700 in West Africa and 1,100 in Central Africa. Southern Africa saw 679,000 people recovering from the virus, North Africa 301,400, West Africa 163,900, East Africa 115,400 and Central Africa 52,400.
The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners launched the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative in a $100 million, four-year partnership. This is intended to expand access to next-generation genomic sequencing tools and expertise designed to strengthen public health surveillance and laboratory networks across Africa.
According to John Nkengasong, the Africa CDC director, this new initiative will build a continent-wide disease surveillance and laboratory network based on pathogen genomic sequencing.
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