The director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, has warned that, unless urgent action is taken, the continent risks being overrun with Covid-19 in a “concerning” crisis similar to India.
The African medical official’s comments were made at a press conference on Thursday, as new mutated strains of Covid threaten to overwhelm the continent’s healthcare systems and risk creating a “very, very concerning” situation.
“We are watching in total disbelief what is happening in India… It speaks to the fact that we as a continent must be very prepared,” Dr Nkengasong said in his statement.
It is a wake-up call. We cannot be indifferent to what is happening in India. We must act now, decisively and collectively.
Africa has broadly managed to contain a significant spike in cases so far, with 3,255,820 infections confirmed across 47 countries.
However, there has been some concern that new strains could quickly overrun the continent, leading the CDC director to warn that African governments must “regroup and prepare ourselves.”
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An emergency meeting is to be held by members of the African Union on May 8 to discuss the continent’s response to the ongoing pandemic.
India has been plagued by record-breaking surges in Covid-19 cases over the past few days as the situation continues to spiral out of control, with 379,257 new infections in the last 24 hours alone.
That soaring infection rate comes despite the Indian government taking initial steps to fight back against the virus, as mutated strains and mass gatherings have seen the virus rapidly spread, overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums.
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