This article by: Dr. Abdiqani Sheikh Omar is a Senior WASH Strategic Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Energy and Water in Somalia and Former Director General at Ministry of Health and Human Service, FGS.
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- The second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is hitting Africa hard and most countries’ already fragile health system grapples with the spike in daily new infections that some hospital authorities believe is due to the new coronavirus strain.
There is a surge in the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and it is being fueled by the new variants of the virus, the World Health Organization recently warned.
African nations must strengthen their responses against the SARS-COV-2 variants feared to be circulating in the continent.
All African nations have been urged by the WHO to ship at least 20 samples to sequencing laboratories every month to help map the fast-evolving situation and best target responses at all levels.
The second wave of the pandemic is worrying due to the poor health infrastructure in Africa. Under these circumstances, testing and tracing are key public health interventions to contain the pandemic. But just 30 million tests have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
To curb the second wave of the pandemic, WHO called upon the African nations to ramp up testing, isolation of contacts and treatment of patients .
Proven prevention measures like wearing masks, hand washing and safe social distancing were also suggested to be enhanced.
COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to begin arriving in Somalia next month whose total caseload jumped from just under 5,000 to over 6,000 this month alone.
The existing vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech are effective against coronavirus variants that have emerged in South Africa and United Kingdom, WHO confirmed in a statement released on 27 Jan 2021.