Africa marks six months on 14 August since COVID-19 was first detected on the continent. While the virus has raced through many other regions of the world, the pandemic’s evolution on the African continent has been different.
Preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that an exponential surge in cases which peak about two to three weeks later is not occurring in Africa. Instead, many countries are experiencing a gradual rise in COVID-19 cases and it is difficult to discern a specific peak. Transmission patterns also differ between countries, but more importantly within countries.
At the onset, COVID-19 mainly affected capital cities. However, the virus is now moving from high density urban areas to informal settlements and then onward to rural areas that have a lower population density.
“In Africa, curbing COVID-19 is a marathon and not a sprint,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We are observing multiple local outbreaks each with their own infection patterns and peaks. It is by bolstering the response at the community level that we will win this race. The COVID-19 response must be integrated into the fabric of every health district.”….more