Africa CDC chief urges more COVID-19 testing as cases rise

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KAMPALA, Uganda — The head of Africa’s high public well being institute is urging authorities throughout the continent to step up COVID-19 testing amid a regarding rise in new cases in some international locations.

The continent of 1.3 billion folks noticed a 37% rise in new cases over the previous week, Ahmed Ogwell, appearing director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mentioned Thursday.

Over the final 4 weeks there’s been an 11% rise in new cases, he mentioned.

“COVID continues to be very a lot right here with us and, in actual fact, once we have a look at the numbers we see that there are some member states which can be really going into a brand new wave and we’re monitoring that carefully,” he mentioned. “When we now have a transparent evaluation, subsequent week we can report back to you if the brand new waves are holding or if these have been shortly introduced underneath management.”

He didn’t point out which international locations face a brand new wave of infections, however South Africa is considered one of them. Africa’s most superior financial system has been essentially the most affected by COVID-19, the supply of the majority of confirmed cases and deaths.

COVID-19 has contaminated 12.1 million folks throughout Africa’s 54 nations, accounting for two% of cases globally, and a minimum of 256,000 have died, in keeping with figures from the Africa CDC.

Vaccination charges in Africa proceed to be low, largely due to quick provides and in addition partly due to hesitancy amongst some. Only 25% of Africa’s individuals are totally vaccinated and underneath 3% have obtained booster doses.

Amid “this phenomenon we’re seeing of numbers going up,” Ogwell mentioned, nationwide well being authorities ought to deal with testing more folks for COVID-19.

“When we see the numbers rising and the testing comparatively low, it is a sign that we must be cautious in public,” he mentioned. “And additionally we have to get ourselves vaccinated to keep away from critical sickness and even demise when one is uncovered to COVID. We know what we have to do.”

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