Africa experiencing longest-running decline in COVID-19 cases

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Africa last week recorded a decline in COVID-19 infections for the 16th straight week, its longest-running downturn since the onset of the pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the continent reported less than 20,000 new infections in the week ending April 10, down from a peak of over 308,000 new weekly cases at the start of the year.

The agency noted on Thursday that over the past week, around 18,000 cases and 239 deaths were recorded, representing a decline of 29 percent and 37 percent respectively compared with the week before.

Before the current running decline, Africa experienced its longest downturn in new cases between August 1 and October 10, 2021.

The WHO’s top official in Africa has however urged vigilance to avoid a rebound of the pandemic.

“Despite the decreasing infections, it is crucial that countries remain vigilant and maintain surveillance measures, including genomic surveillance to swiftly detect circulating COVID-19 variants, enhance testing and scale up vaccination,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “With the virus still circulating, the risk of new and potentially more deadly variants emerging remains, and the pandemic control measures are pivotal to effective response to a surge in infections.”

So far, Africa has recorded 11,369,166 COVID-19 infections with 251,666 fatalities.