COVID-19: WHO regional director tasks African Govts. on data sharing

WHO teams up with Wikipedia to share COVID-19 information

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, has called on African governments to share data on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for effective surveillance in the region.

Moeti made the call in her twitter account at Dr @MoetiTshidi.

“We work on a day to day basis with the government, but they have an obligation to share data under the International Health Regulations. “We remind them periodically that this is a protection for them…but also a responsibility.”

According to her, WHO is working with other major supporters of research and in-country experts to coordinate participation and how countries participate in clinical trials.

On the availability of COVID-19 testing kits in Africa, she acknowledged that it was a challenge in the region to get enough testing kits and ventilators. “It is a recognized challenge and something we work on with our logistics team every day.

“What we do know is that there is a big gap in the number is ventilators in countries. “As this happens in the context of a global shortage and lockdowns… that will make the transport of these ventilators more difficult.’’

Also, the regional director acknowledged the difficulty people were encountering because of the restriction of movement and the lockdown. “There needs to be very careful, thoughtful analysis and mitigation measures are needed to make sure people do not suffer unduly,” she said.

Meanwhile, the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, had on Thursday confirmed 6,075 cases of COVID-19 on the African continent with 214 deaths in the update posted on its twitter account @WHOAFRO.

“They are 6,075 cases on the African continent, with 214 deaths and 478 recoveries reported. “In the past seven days, four new countries in the Region have confirmed cases of COVID-19, including Botswana, Burundi, Guinea Bissau, and Sierra Leone.”

The agency said South Africa currently had the highest in the region with 1,380 cases and five deaths, Algeria 847 cases with 58 deaths and Burkina Faso has 261 confirmed cases with 14 deaths. “Nigeria has 174 confirmed cases, nine have been discharged with two deaths,’’ it stated. (NAN)

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