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Africa records lowest COVID-19 infections, deaths in seven days

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Nigeria still uses Hydroxychloroquine for treatment at clinical trial level

Africa recorded lowest coronavirus cases (27 per cent) and deaths (21 per cent) in the last one week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed yesterday.

The feat, it noted, followed decreased infections in South Africa, Kenya, Algeria, Nigeria and Ghana.

According to the global agency’s COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update 1, Ethiopia posted a 56 per cent and 12 per cent increase in cases and deaths, with more than half of the incidents reported in Addis Ababa.

Consequently, a month-long testing and prevention campaign are to be implemented alongside 400,000 examination.

WHO observed that for the week ending August 16,2020, over 1.8 million new infections and 39,000 facts were announced.

The development brings the cumulative total to 21.2 million confirmed cases and 76,000 deaths.

In the period under review, daily cases increased to 260,000 with 5,500 deaths.

The United Nations organ submitted: “The WHO Region of the Americas remains the most affected in the past seven days, accounting for 53 per cent of all newly confirmed cases and 75 per cent of reported deaths. The South-East Asia region continues to report an increase in cases, and is currently the second most affected.

“While the number of cases decreased in the Eastern Mediterranean region from the end of June through to August 10, a 10 per cent increase was reported in the number of cases reported in the last seven days. The number of reported deaths, however, has continued to decrease across the region. The Western Pacific region reported a large increase in the number of deaths compared to the previous seven days, although, this accounted for just one per cent of the new deaths reported globally.”

It added: “The African region reported a decrease in the number of cases and deaths over the past seven days. Due to the resurgence of cases in many countries, stay at home measures and travel restrictions are being re-implemented as part of efforts to limit the transmission of the virus.”

WHO’s Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: leaders must step up to take action, and citizens need to embrace new measures. My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus.”

The organisation said access to basic handwashing facilities remained a key condition for schools to operate safely in this crisis period.

However, latest data from the WHO/United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) found that 43 per cent of schools worldwide lacked access to rudimentary hand washing with soap and water in 2019.

Meanwhile, Ebselen, a synthetic drug for bipolar disorder and hearing loss, could help treat COVID-19.

In a new study, Professor Juan de Pablo and his colleagues at the University of Chicago, United States alluded to that.

Also yesterday, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told The Guardian that the country still uses hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients but only in clinical trials.


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