Africa CDC vows to conduct 7 million COVID-19 tests by November
London, Sep. 18, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Africa CDC, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has vowed to conduct seven million COVID-19 tests between now and November. To achieve this target, CDC Director Dr. John Nkengasong says member states will receive 3.2 million test kits in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is increasing evidence that Africans living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension and diabetes are more likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19 and die.
In South Africa, which accounts for nearly half of all cases and deaths on the continent, 61% of the COVID-19 patients in hospitals had hypertension and 52% had diabetes, and 45% of people aged 60–69 who died from COVID-19 also had hypertension.
Africa CDC Weekly Press Briefing on COVID-19 – 17 September 2020https://t.co/stio57WNpp— Africa CDC (@AfricaCDC) September 17, 2020
In Kenya, around half of COVID-19 deaths occurred in people with NCDs, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, such patients accounted for 85% of all COVID-19 deaths.
According to a WHO preliminary analysis of 14 countries in the African region, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma are the co-morbidities most associated with COVID-19 patients.
These chronic conditions require continuous treatment, but as governments address the ongoing pandemic, health services for NCDs have been severely disrupted.
Meanwhile, the Regional Director for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, says the downward trend of the coronavirus in South Africa is encouraging.
However, she has warned that people must remain vigilant and be prepared to effectively tackle any resurgence as seen in so many countries around the globe.
The WHO African Region has commended the South African government for its determined efforts in combating the spread of the infection.
A WHO surge team of experts was deployed to South Africa to support efforts to stem the spread of the virus.
The country heads into alert level one of the nationwide lockdown from early Monday morning.