COVID-19: WHO warns Africa of possible infections upsurge during festive season

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COVID-19: WHO warns Africa of possible infections upsurge during festive season

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned African could experience a significant increase in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks.

The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said more people were likely to be infected or spread the disease during the December festive season. “As we near the time of year when people get on the move to spend their holidays together, there is a bigger risk of COVID-19 transmission," she stated.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, November 19, Moeti observed people were likely to travel to the upcountry and mingle freely with others who may not have been sick.

She, however, reminded the public to religiously wear facemasks and observe social distancing or simply avoid unnecessary travels where possible. “New clusters of cases can emerge in places that have so far been unaffected as people travel or gather for festivities. But we can lower the risks by wearing masks, limiting the numbers of people who come together, observing physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene,” she added.

The health organisation put the number of cases in Africa at two million with about 1.7 million people having recovered while over 49, 173 patients succumbed to the virus.

As on Friday, November 20, South Africa was leading with 762,763 positive cases and 20,759 deaths.

Morocco came second having registered 316,260 cases, 5,182 deaths and 262,212 total recoveries.

Other worst hit nations are Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Libya in that order.

Kenya stands at the seventh position with 75,193 confirmed cases after 1,048 more people were confirmed to be positive.

The country's cumulative tests also jumped to 823,700 according to the Ministry of Health.

The disease claimed another 19 patients on Friday bringing the total casualties to 1,349.

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