By TOM CHIAHEMEN, Abuja –
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread across five continents, Africa has so far recorded a total of 1,704 confirmed cases in 42 countries with 50 deaths reported in 12 countries, representing 2.9% case fatality.
The most affected countries on the continent are South Africa with 402 cases and zero deaths), Egypt (327 cases and 14 deaths), Algeria (189 cases and 17 deaths) and Morocco (134 cases and 4 deaths).
In the ECOWAS region, 324 cases were confirmed in 12 Member – States and 8 deaths reported in 4 Member States (2.4% CFR), according to the latest overview of health threats in the ECOWAS region released by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), made available to NATIONAL ACCORD.
These are: Burkina Faso (114 cases and 4 deaths), Senegal (79 cases), Nigeria (40 cases and 1 death), Ghana (27 cases and 2 deaths), Côte d’Ivoire (25 cases), Togo (18 cases), Benin (6 cases), Guinea (4 cases), Cape Verde (3), Liberia (3), Niger (3 cases) and Gambia (2 cases and 1 death).
In the ECOWAS region, transmission of Covid-19 has intensified. Indeed, 94% of confirmed cases and 100% of deaths have been recorded in the last 10 days.
In addition to imported cases, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo have local transmission.
On the global scene, as of midnight on 23 March 2020, a total of 378,041 cases had been confirmed in 182 countries, including 16,365 deaths in 85 countries, which represents a 4.32% case fatality rate.
The hot spots of the pandemic are currently located in Europe (Italy, Spain, Germany, France), America (United States) and Asia (Iran).
According to the information available:
ü A total of 18 patients have been cured: Senegal 8, Burkina 7, Nigeria 2 and Guinea 1.
ü Fifty-six percent (56%) of those affected in our region are men.
ü The age of the deceased varies between 61 and 70 years.
The overview of health threats and shows that WAHO provides regional coordination and works closely with the Ministries of Health of the 15 ECOWAS Member – States to support preparedness and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to WAHO, Following the capacitation of all Member States to diagnose Covid-19, the agency has continued with the efforts to provide reagents and inputs, particularly for the countries most affected by the disease. One of the other priorities of WAHO is the provision of personal protective equipment to Member States.
In collaboration with the health authorities of Senegal and Burkina Faso, it is further ensuring the deployment of experts (according to the needs expressed by them is being prepared).
WAHO recalls the following key messages to protect oneself and others:
- Adopt the barrier gestures below : ü Wash your hands very regularly. ü Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a use disposable tissues and dispose of them after use. ü Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. ü Frequently disinfect the most touched surfaces with your hands (door handles, light switches, etc.).
- Adopt social distancing measures : ü Keep a distance of at least one meter between you and a person who coughs, sneezes or has a fever ü Avoid close contact with sick people. ü Greet without shaking hands, avoid hugs ü Avoid gatherings, limit travel and contact.
- In case of suspicious symptoms: stay at home, avoid contact and call the emergency number set up in your country.
- Strictly follow the measures and advice of your health professional or national health advice.