Kenyan medical workers prepare to take swabs from truck drivers during a testing for the coronavirus in Namanga. Reuters
Africa now has more than a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases.
The continent-wide total is now at least over 504,000 after South Africa recorded another day of more than 10,000 confirmed cases as a new global hot spot.
The true number of cases among Africa’s 1.3 billion people is unknown as its 54 countries continue to face a serious shortage of testing materials for the virus. "A tremendous problem, a real crisis of access,” the World Health Organization’s Africa chief, Matshidiso Moeti, said last week.
So far most testing has been concentrated in capital cities, but infections in many cases have spread beyond them.
A boy stands in front of a graffiti promoting the fight against the coronavirus disease in Nairobi, Kenya. Reuters
Africa’s health systems are the most poorly funded and thinly staffed in the world, and already more than 2,000 health workers have been infected by the virus, according to the WHO.
This week alone, some anxious health workers in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Congo and Sierra Leone have gone on strike or demonstrated for adequate protective gear or better pay.
The African continent has just 2.2 health workers - and 0.3 doctors - per 1,000 people, according to the WHO.
Experts have warned that even if badly needed supplies such as ventilators are provided to African nations, another challenge is having enough trained workers to operate them.Associated Press
Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally.
Thirty percent of South Africa’s more than 177,000 cases are now in Gauteng province, which contains Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.
World Health Organisation Director Dr Tedros Adhanom is the focus of attention as the 2019 novel coronavirus advances across the globe. He has been criticised by some health professionals
The announcement brings the country's tally of confirmed virus cases up to 289, according to ministry's spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad. In addition, 216 virus patients are still receiving necessary treatment, while 13 others are in intensive care units.
Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government said, “The vaccine is currently given to our first line defenders because they are more vulnerable to infection than others, and to the elderly and people with chronic diseases."
The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
UAE President ordered the award of the Fallen Frontline Heroes Order to those who have lost their lives on the frontlines while tackling COVID-19