The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Africa sees “a slight decrease” in coronavirus infection rates.Briefing journalists over the weekend, the Director of the Africa CDC, Dr John Nkengasong noted “a slight decrease” in infection rates on the continent, and said this “gives some signs of hope that we are beginning to bend the curve slowly”.
He however cautioned the people of the continent to maintain and increase the use of masks, social distancing, and to ramp up testing, even as countries begin to ease lockdown measures.
“We do not want the population to show prevention fatigue”, he said, adding: “We are dealing with a delicate virus” that can easily flare up again very quickly, as has been witnessed in other parts of the world.
In the past week, Africa reported an average of 10344 new cases per day, compared to 11494 the week before and 14447 the previous week.
The Africa CDC, an agency of the African Union, also announced that the continent is working towards “trusted testing” for COVID19 to protect travel and borders.
This will entail mutual recognition of certified COVID19 testing among all member states, to allow for smooth movement across the continent.
Dr Nkengasong said the Partnership for Increased COVID19 Testing (PACT) will be used to enhance surveillance in different economic sectors.
The PACT initiative, rolled out in June when the continent had conducted under 400 000 tests, targeted 10 million tests across the continent.
A few months later, 10 256 000 tests have been conducted, the majority of them in ten countries, namely South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda and Mauritius.
A new target of 20 million tests has now been set for the period from now till the beginning of November, to capitalise on the gains recorded so far.