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WHO warns African nations against precipitated ease up on COVID-19 restrictions

South Africans queue outside shopping malls after announcement of 21-day COVID-19 lockdown (c) copyright

The World Health Organization has called on African countries to take into account the balance between supporting their economies and stopping the spread of the pandemic before taking decisions to ease anti-COVID-19 measures in their various nations.

After the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in Africa, many nations took a number of partial or total containment measures to halt the spread of the killer virus.

These measures have in one way or the other reportedly helped slow the spread of the pandemic in Africa.

Following this positive response and the need to support some hard-hit sectors, Some nations have begun relaxing some of their COVID-19 restrictive measures, including South Africa and Cameroon, respectively first and third most affected countries in terms of the number of cases in Africa.

In a statement Thursday on twitter, the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti warned against such decisions, highlighting the virus remains a considerable threat to public health.

“Deciding when and how to lift these measures is extremely challenging…There is always a need to balance.” Dr Matshidso Moeti said.

“It is important to maintain strong surveillance, case detection and testing measures to end the pandemic. If governments abruptly end these measures, they risk losing the gains that have been made so far against Covid-19, she warned.

Even as Coronavirus cases keep mounting in these nations, South Africa began easing one of its lockdowns on Friday, with some citizens returning eagerly to the streets.

Cameroon on its part uplifted the 6pm curfew on businesses and authorized transporters to resume functioning as usual with the obligation for users and customers to put on face masks and respect the social distancing measure.

In both cases, Governments stated that relaxing some of their restrictions never meant they have let down their guard on fighting back the pandemic.


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