World Health Organization urges African countries to enforce strong COVID-19 measures as they resume air operations

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments of African countries to take effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 due to airport operations.

WHO, in a statement extended to Radio Tamazuj, said in the early days of the pandemic, many African countries imposed measures including airport closure. However, the UN agency, 19 African countries that had not reported cases for a long time had the virus imported.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of World Health Organization for Africa advises countries to continue keeping public health measures in place to “stem the spread of COVID-19.”

“But as we take to the skies again, we cannot let our guard down. Our new normal still requires stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.” Moeti said. According to Dr. Moeti, the resumption commercial flights, on the other hand, is a positive move towards the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The resumption of commercial flights in Africa will facilitate the delivery of crucial supplies such as testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other essential health commodities to areas which need them most. It will also ensure that experts, who can support the response can finally get on the ground and work.” said Dr. Moeti.

WHO recommends countries to assess the situation of the outbreak before they resume air operations. According to WHO’s COVID-19 situation report from February to June 30th, 2020,  303,986 people in 45 African countries have tested positive for the Coronavirus, among whom 6,155 have died.