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  • Street children wash their hands in a local market. Gulu, Uganda. June, 2020.

    Street children wash their hands in a local market. Gulu, Uganda. June, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @SvenBotha

Published 2 July 2020
Opinion

South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria have the highest contagion tally in the region.

World Health Organization's (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti Thursday said that there are is no significant undercounting on COVID-19 cases in Africa. Still, some nations may underestimate the virus' tally.

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"There is a certain level of underestimation of testing. Most African countries are only testing people who have symptoms and are encouraging people to come with early symptoms," Moeti briefed.

In June, Moeti assured local health authorities were not missing cases; nevertheless, tests and supplies scarcity was reducing the response to the pandemic.  She also pointed out that the virus was spreading into rural areas, far from outbreak points.

"But we do not think that there is a multiple-fold number of cases which are undetected and the number of people dying is unknown," she added.

As for Thursday, Africa registered 425,065 COVID-19 cases, 10,552 deaths, and 202,980 recoveries from the virus. South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria have the highest contagion tally in the region.

Moeti warned African governments about possible outbreaks after lockdown lifting. As she recommended, communities must be able to identify and trace cases and contacts to avoid outbreaks.

"Thanks to the public health and social measures that countries have put in place, we have not seen a sharp peak in COVID-19 cases in Africa. Going forward, everyone should prepare for this virus to circulate for the foreseeable future," she added.

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