In Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the confirmed numbers of COVID-19 on the continent has risen to more than 10,000, with more than 500 recorded deaths.
While the virus was slow to reach the continent compared to other parts of the world, infections have grown exponentially in recent weeks and are continuing to spread.
Reaching the continent through travellers returning from other hotspots, Africa’s first COVID-19 case was recorded in Egypt on 14 February. Since then a total of 52 countries have reported cases.
The World Health Organization is calling for a decentralised response, which is tailored to the local context. Communities need to be empowered, and provincial and district levels of government need to ensure they have the resources and expertise to respond to the outbreaks locally.
WHO is working with governments across Africa to scale up their capacities in critical response areas such as coordination, surveillance, isolation, case management, and contact tracing, as well as infection prevention and control, risk communication as well as community engagement, including laboratory capacity.