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COVID-19 deaths increase in Africa -WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa says there are over 43,000 COVID-19 deaths on the African continent.

The UN health agency gave the update on its regional official Twitter account @WHOAFRO.

The number of deaths increased to 43,000 as at Nov. 3 against 41,000 as at Oct. 26.

Also, the numbers of recoveries have increased from 1.3 million in Oct. 26 to 1.4 million as at Nov. 3, according to the figures on the WHO dashboard.

The dashboard shows that the number of confirmed cases still remains over 1.7 million.

Meanwhile, in a statement posted on WHO website, the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 met on Oct. 29 to review the situation and progress made on the temporary recommendations.

They advised that the pandemic still constituted a public health emergency of international concern and urged a focus on response efforts based on lessons learned and strong science.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, accepted the advice of the committee, stating that “WHO will continue to work in partnership across the world to drive science, solutions and solidarity.”

The committee expressed appreciation for WHO’s leadership and activities throughout the global response, including its critical role in developing evidence-based guidance and providing countries with technical assistance.

It also appreciated WHO for its role in providing critical supplies and equipment, communicating clear information and addressing misinformation, and convening the Solidarity Trials and the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

The committee provided concrete and targeted advice for WHO and countries to focus on in the coming months.

It emphasised the importance of evidence-informed, risk-based and coherent measures in relation to international traffic, surveillance and contact tracing efforts.

The committee also recommended maintaining essential health services including mental health services, and preparing plans for future COVID-19 vaccines.

It urged countries to avoid making the pandemic response political as it’s a major detriment to global efforts.

As the committee convened for the fifth time, global reported cases had reached 44 million, with over 1.1 million people having lost their lives to COVID-19.

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