The World Health Organization on Sunday confirmed the total number of novel coronavirus cases in Africa has crossed 1,000 across 43 countries, with a total of 34 reported deaths, reported Anadolu Agency.
In a statement, the WHO said the virus has spread to dozens of countries within weeks.
“Countries across the continent are striving to limit widespread infections: identifying, isolating and treating patients; restricting movement, heightening surveillance and stepping up health precautions, the statement read.
The international health body said it is taking necessary measures to provide support to affected countries.
“Personal protective equipment has been shipped to 24 countries, and a second shipment is being prepared for countries with confirmed cases,” the WHO said.
The governments of various African countries have also introduced a number of measures to curtail the virus’ spread, including closing schools, imposing travel restrictions and prohibiting gatherings of over 100 people. But the measures are not enough to stop the spread of coronavirus in the continent.
On Sunday, the WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan maintained that declaring indefinite lockdown won’t help countries to contain the coronavirus from further spreading. He said that public health measures are needed to prevent the resurgence of the deadly virus beyond large-scale lockdowns.
“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” Ryan said during an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Ryan said after the lockdown is over and restrictions are lifted the coronavirus will further revive and the danger is the disease will jump back again. He also cited measures undertaken by South Korea, Singapore, and China to combat the virus, combining restrictions with mass testing. He added that any vaccine would likely not be approved and widely available for at least a year.