Covid-19 : africa needs to triple the number of its testing - The Point

Africa is doing enough to test people in Covid-19 ? The answer is not so obvious. At the date of 5 June, the continent would have resulted in 3.4 million tests.

Covid-19 : africa needs to triple the number of its testing - The Point

Africa is doing enough to test people in Covid-19 ? The answer is not so obvious. At the date of 5 June, the continent would have resulted in 3.4 million tests. A number of the director of the Center for control and prevention of diseases (CDC) of the african Union, dr. John Nkengasong, would like to see triple in the months to come. Objective : "a step ahead" of the virus, he pleaded, Thursday, during a press conference in Addis Ababa. His goal is to reach 10 million tests in two months, or even three. For the epidemiologist of cameroon, the countries that are most affected, namely South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco stand out because of their better detection capability of the coronavirus. To fine-tune the statistics of other countries, it would therefore be necessary to accelerate the pace of testing. The issue seems more pressing today as the most countries on the continent are beginning to relax the measures taken in the month of march.

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It should be ten times more tests

To get a more precise idea, the present data indicate a rate of 1 700 tests for a million people on the continent, far behind the 30 000 tests per one million inhabitants in the United Kingdom or the 37, 000 to one million in Italy, said the director of the CDC.

on Thursday morning, Africa had recorded a total of 162 000 and 4 600 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak of new coronavirus, with an average of 5 400 new cases per day on all seven days. These figures may increase significantly as countries relax the restriction measures taken to curb the epidemic. "Our situation will surely get worse before it gets better," predicts John Nkengasong. "As we begin to release the containment, which is part of the balance to be struck between saving lives and saving the economy, we expect to see these statistics increase," he added.

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A rapid increase of cases

This is the case, in particular, in Côte d'ivoire. Since the detection of the first case on march 11, this is the first time that the daily number of confirmed cases surpasses 150. For the WHO representative, Abidjan, Jean-Marie Vianni Yameogo, this high figure is explained by " the increase of the plate screening ", and the existence of a dozen of laboratories in Abidjan and in the interior of the country for testing. The ivorian government has already opened 11 centers of screening of the coronavirus on 13 planned in Abidjan and its suburbs, the epicenter of the disease in Côte d'ivoire. But this is not the only reason, the increasing number of cases can be translated to a "sagging" in compliance with the measures barriers and restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus, ahead of Jean-Marie Vianni Yameogo. Finally, on 8 may, the ivorian government has initiated a gradual thawing of restrictive measures imposed on the territory as a whole with, in particular, the end of the curfew, the reopening of schools, restaurants and other places of informal dining and drinking. Since then, other countries have followed suit, sometimes under the pressure of the street.

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Lack of hardware

in addition, the agency continental control and prevention of diseases has been found to have already distributed 2.5 million of tests to the members of the african Union. But some countries are experiencing shortages. South Africa was also reported last week that 96 000 samples waiting to be tested, a lack of material. "The whole world is struggling to get the kits, the kits of the laboratory, and it is in this impasse that we find ourselves in this moment," said the minister of Health Zweli Mkhize. On the same day, South Africa had in the space of 24 hours 3 267 new cases of Covid-19, the largest increase since the beginning of the pandemic in the country. The first industrial power of the continent will now count a total of 40 792 cases, said the ministry in a press release. The number of deaths has increased from 56, to reach a total of 848. More than half of all patients are concentrated in the Western Cape province (South-West), where the health services are under pressure.

A platform established to help the african continent to fight against the Covid-19 has secured $ 15 million tests per month for the next six months, however, indicated the director of the CDC. Is this going to be enough ? In addition to this strategy, the training of one million community health workers able to trace infected people and their contacts, as well as the creation of a common platform to purchasing medicines are the two other objectives set by african governments in their plan of coordinated action. "As much as possible, we want to look for where the virus hides in our communities," informed the epidemiologist from cameroon.

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writing will advise you

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Date Of Update: 05 June 2020, 03:33