Published on : Friday, November 20, 2020
The African continent has surpassed 2 million confirmed cases as the top public health official on Thursday warned that “they are inevitably edging toward a second wave” of infections.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said the 54-nation continent had crossed the milestone. Africa has seen more than 48,000 deaths from COVID-19. Its infections and deaths make up less than 4 per cent of the global total.
The African continent of 1.3 billion people is being warned against “prevention fatigue” as countries loosen pandemic restrictions to ease their economies’ suffering and more people travel.
They cannot relent. If we relent, then all the sacrifices we put into efforts over the past 10 months will be wiped away, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong stated. He also expressed concern that “many countries are not enforcing public health measures, including masking, which is extremely important”.
While the world takes hope from promising COVID-19 vaccines, African health officials also worry the continent will suffer as richer countries buy up supplies.
“Let’s celebrate the good news” first, Nkengasong said. But he warned that the Pfizer vaccine requires storage at minus 70 degrees Celsius, and such a requirement “already creates an imbalance in the fair distribution or access to those vaccines” as richer countries will be better equipped to move quickly.