Africa records 27% decline in COVID-19 cases, 8% deaths
Group faults lack PPEs, training for drivers conveying safety equipment
Latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that COVID-19 cases and deaths declined globally in the last one week.
According to ‘COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, African reported 108,000 cases and about 4,600 deaths, 27 per cent decrease in cases and eight per cent decline in deaths compared to the previous week.
The report, based on WHO data, showed that as of January 31, 2021, cases decreased for two consecutive weeks. South Africa reported 44,397 new cases, 74.9 new cases per 100,000 population and 44 per cent decrease, Nigeria (9,955 new cases, 4.8 new cases per 100 000, 15 per cent decrease) and Zambia (8,760 new cases, 47.7 new cases per 100,000 or three per cent increase).
However, South Africa also reported the highest number of new deaths in the last one week with 3,377 casualties, 5.7 deaths per 100,000 or nine per cent decrease followed by Zimbabwe with 219 deaths, 1.5 deaths per 100,000 or 25 per cent decrease and Malawi with 217 deaths, 1.1 new deaths per 100 000 or 28 per cent decrease.
WHO stated that globally, 3.7 million new cases were reported last week, a 13 per cent decline compared to the previous week and the third consecutive week showing a decline in cases.
There were 96,000 new deaths and a one per cent decline compared to the previous week, bringing the number of cases to over 102 million and the total number of deaths to 2.2 million in 222 countries and territories.
Last week, all WHO regions, except South-East Asia, reported a fall in new cases and although new deaths declined globally by one per cent, they rose in the Western Pacific by 21 per cent, Eastern Mediterranean (nine per cent) and America (four per cent).
Saturday, January 30, 2021, marked one year since WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern following 9, 826 cases in 20 countries and 213 deaths in China.
Last week, America with 1,072,287 cases and 15 per cent decrease, Brazil (364,593 cases, one per cent increase), United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (178,629 cases, 31 per cent decrease), France (141,092 cases, two per cent increase) and Russia (131,039 cases, a 13 per cent decrease) recorded the highest number of new cases.
Besides, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as at Saturday, February 6, 2021, reported 1,588 new confirmed cases and six deaths, adding that while 139,242 cases have been confirmed, 112,557 cases have been discharged and 1,647 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
MEANWHILE, the GreenLight Initiative has raised the alarm over lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for drivers who convey medical supplies, patients and logistics required for management of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Its Executive Director, Simon Obi, who stated this during training for truck and ambulance drivers in River State in collaboration with the Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance Foundation, Ministry of Health and Rivers State government at the weekend, maintained that the drivers were ill-trained and equipped.
Obi explained that the training modules were designed to empower drivers and assist them with COVID-19 safety protocols, basic infection prevention control, basic first-aid, appropriate and rational use of PPE and education on road safety measures.
He maintained that the training would enable the drivers to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, enforce and advocate for COVID-19 safety protocols as they deliver on their jobs.