Africa took the right COVID-19 measures at the right time - WHO

While they were the right choices, it has left African countries with troublesome economic results.

Professional healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) attend to a patient inside the temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 11 January 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The World Health Organization said on Thursday COVID-19 was exacerbated by the weak healthcare systems in Africa. But thanks to community engagement, the region managed to limit the spread.

In the early days of the global outbreak last year, the organisation was concerned about how the pandemic would play out on the continent.

Months later, the health agency said most African countries implemented hard measures at the right time, which contributed to curbing the spread of the virus.

READ: The second COVID-19 wave is more challenging than the first - World Health Organization Africa

The economic impact of doing so has been devastating, though.

Africa is seeing between 25,000 and 30,000 new coronavirus infections per day. But 270 million doses of vaccines were provisionally secured for the continent through the African Union.

The organisation's Ngoy Nsenga said: “There was more in Africa in general that kind of politicization of all the measures taken by countries. This is what has to be done. The reasons also why our countries were very much affected economically because of those decisions. So it was the right measures at the right time.”

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