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WHO urges systematic step-by-step approach to easing COVID-19 lockdown

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised governments in Africa to ease lockdowns in a systematic step-by-step approach as detailed in the guidelines issued to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This agency said this in a weekly bulletin on outbreaks and other emergencies released on Tuesday, June 2, and posted on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO.

The Weekly Bulletin for Week 22 from May 25 to May 31, 2020; focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region.

The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 114 events in the region.

It covers COVID-19 in the WHO African Region, Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Cholera in Ethiopia.

According to the bulletin, the COVID-19 outbreak continues in Africa; with the total number of confirmed cases surpassing 100, 000.

“The overall trends continue to rise although with variation among countries.

“Many countries have started easing confinement measures imposed earlier; but they are advised to follow the guidelines issued on that,” it said.

The agency also advised countries to continue with containment and mitigation measures.

“African governments need to continue with the containment and mitigation measures that many have implemented, in order to slow the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Active case finding, population screening, testing, and contact follow-up are particularly important.

“Governments need to commit local resources, supplemented by the donor communities to this response.

“In addition, humanitarian corridors need to be opened up for the movement of essential supplies and personnel; in the many countries whose borders have closed as part of their COVID-19 response,” WHO said.

Likewise, in addition, the agency said the resurgence of Ebola in Beni, DRC; since April 10, 2020, highlighted the importance of constant and heightened vigilance.

“It heightened the importance of vigilance for this disease in the face of significant challenges affecting the response; and the need to respond to other health emergencies, including COVID-19.

“Although, the 42-day countdown to the end of outbreak declaration has re-started,” the agency stated.

According to WHO, there have been no new reported confirmed case of Ebola in DRC during week 22 (week ending 31 May 2020).

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