The urgent call was made by John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, as he noted that “the onset of COVID-19 pandemic was delayed in Africa but the number of cases and deaths is increasing rapidly every day.”
According to the latest figures from the Africa CDC, Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 positive cases reached 337,315 as of Friday morning as the death toll from the pandemic also rose to 8,863.
The Africa CDC said that some 161,254 people who were infected with COVID-19 had recovered across the continent so far.
“Africa must be careful and prepare for a rise in the number of cases, as already observed in Latin America after easing of lockdowns,” an Africa CDC statement, issued on Friday, quoted Nkengasong as saying.
The Africa CDC Director also stressed that the availability of a vaccine is “the only solution that would allow African Union member states to return to a fully functional economy.”
Nkengasong further highlighted two strategies for vaccine development and access, which he said are securing sufficient vaccine supplies and removing barriers to vaccine rollout.
According to Nkengasong, the two strategies would require mobilizing financial capital to purchase enough vaccines, ensuring appropriate distribution, and manufacturing, including, enabling technology transfer to rapidly scale-up local manufacturing capacity on the continent.
The Africa CDC also said that the Southern Africa region is now the most affected area across the continent in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, overtaking the Northern Africa region