ADDIS ABABA – Almost 1,000 health workers are infected with Covid-19 across the continent, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official in Africa says.
“We are very concerned that almost 1,000 African health workers have been infected with Covid-19,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said today during a briefing.
“We know that most African countries already have a severe shortage of health care workers,” she continued. “And when our frontline workers fall ill or are absent from work, communities don’t have access to essential services like immunizations, safe deliverers and treatment for chronic and infectious diseases”.
Countries across the continent are “repositioning and refashioning” their businesses to address the global shortages of personal protection equipment (PPE), said officials.
“I see that countries are making a lot of effort to invest in overcoming the situation,” Dr. Moeti said.
“When we came out of that devastating Ebola outbreak, it left in those countries some determination to start out better,” Moeti said.
Sierra Leone and Liberia who were devastated by Ebola, have confronted coronavirus head-on.
“That painful learning really enabled to them start off at a different level, with a different outlook on how to invest,” Moeti said.
To date, Africa has confirmed 51,698 coronavirus cases while the death toll in the continent rose to 2,012.
Over 17,590 coronavirus patients have so far recovered, according to data released by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.