Caution must be exercised in the face of the withdrawal of health regulations, according to WHO
WHO on Thursday, March 24, advised African countries to be cautious and consider the risks involved, as many African countries have decided to ease their health restrictions against COVID-19
In light of the significant decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19, many countries have decided to ease their surveillance and quarantine measures taken in the fight against the pandemic.
It is important for countries to reopen their economies and resume a social life, countries must be cautious and consider the possible risks, said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, in an online press conference.
It is clear that the number of COVID-19 cases has declined across the continent since the peak of the fourth wave caused by the Omicron variant in early January 2022, several African countries have turned to priority contact tracing, which involves following only those at high risk of infection or developing a severe form of the disease, according to WHO.
WHO notes that as of March 15, 2022, 22 African countries were no longer conducting contact tracing, while only 13 countries were conducting surveillance of all cases.
“It is worrying that almost half of the countries in Africa have stopped contact tracing,” said Moeti.
WHO figures show that vaccination coverage remains far behind the rest of the world, with only 15.6% of the population fully vaccinated.
“The pandemic is not yet over and prevention measures should be relaxed with caution, with health authorities assessing the risks versus the expected benefits. Easing public health measures does not mean relaxing pandemic vigilance efforts,” she concluded.