AU orders 30M testing kits, 10, 000 ventilators, 80 million face masks to arrest escalating cases of covid-19
London, June 1, 2020 (AltAfrica)-In bid to arrest increasing rate of coronavirus in Africa, the African Union, AU, has moved to secure coronavirus (Covid-19) diagnostic supplies, including 30 million testing kits, 10 000 ventilators, and 80 million masks per month for the African continent from China, South African President and current African Union chairman Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
There are now more than over 142,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across African continent, with a number of countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.
#COVID19 update in Africa (As of 31 May 2020, 6 pm East Africa Time)— Africa CDC (@AfricaCDC) May 31, 2020
54 African Union Member States reporting 142,289 cases, 4,084 deaths, and 59,864 recoveries.
More information at https://t.co/vEZ4eupedf#COVID19 #FactsNotFear #AfricaResponds pic.twitter.com/MezmeFocDU
“With the assistance of various governments, companies, and foundations, we have been able to mobilise significant quantities of personal protection equipment [PPE], other medical supplies, and ventilators. Our attention has not been limited only to South Africa, but have been working with other leaders to ensure that Africa has the resources it needs,”Ramaphosa said in his speech during a virtual engagement with members of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Sunday.
“I have been in discussion with President Xi Jinping of China to secure diagnostic supplies, including 30 million testing kits, 10 000 ventilators, and 80 million masks per month for our continent. We continue to work with partners to import material when supplies are short. This week, we will be receiving a supply of one million masks from Huawei.
At the home front, the AU president, said “As you would be aware, our approach to this covid-19 pandemic has been informed by the view from the scientific community that most South Africans are likely to be infected by the virus at some point,”
South Africa’s fatality rate of 2.1 percent was far lower than the global average of 6.4 percent and the European average of 8.5 percent. The priority now was to ensure sufficient health system capacity to provide life-saving care to those who may need it.
“In the coming weeks, we should expect an exponential rise in cases, and we need to deploy all the means at our disposal to continue to flatten the curve. We have strengthened our public health interventions. As people return to work, school, and study, we will be significantly expanding the screening effort to all places where people congregate.
Guided by the modelling that had been done on the trajectory of the disease, government had been working hard to expand the capacity of health facilities. To date, over 27,000 beds in the public sector had been allocated to Covid-19 patients, and the field hospitals currently being constructed would have around 13,000 beds.
Special interventions would be made in hotspots. Dedicated, multidisciplinary teams would be deployed to contain the outbreak, including epidemiologists, doctors, nurses and community health workers. Each hotspot would be linked to testing and quarantine facilities, and additional hospital beds where necessary. There would be a close focus on tracing contacts and isolating them to prevent further transmission
“Originally, the intention was to place hotspot areas at a higher alert level than other areas, but it became evident that this was going to prove impractical and would undermine our efforts to re-open the economy. Having different areas at different alert levels would disrupt supply chains, create a multiplicity of regulations to enforce and may even increase the movement of people between hotspot and other areas.”
“Our economic strategy going forward will require a new social compact among all role players – business, labour, community and government – to restructure the economy and achieve inclusive growth. Among other things, we will accelerate structural reforms, promote localisation and industrialisation, repurpose state-owned enterprises, and strengthen the informal sector.”
“The weeks ahead will be crucial and will require great vigilance, caution and effort from all South Africans. From the experience of the last three months – from everything we’ve gone through, everything that we’ve achieved and all the hard lessons we have learnt – I am convinced that we will succeed in overcoming this pandemic,” Ramaphosa said.
African News Agency (ANA)