The African Union (AU) Commission has launched a flagship campaign to intensify the continental fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to protect African economies and livelihoods amid the easing of lockdowns.
The newly launched continental initiative, dubbed Africa Against Covid-19: Saving Lives, Economies, and Livelihoods Campaign, mainly envisages protecting borders and travellers, economies and livelihoods, as countries ease lockdowns and resume economic activities, the AU announced.
The initiative was launched jointly by the AU Social Affairs Commission, Infrastructure and Energy Commission as well as the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) during a weekly virtual news briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa.
John Nkengasong, director of Africa CDC, said as AU member states begin to ease lockdowns and reopen, "it is critical to prepare Africa for the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic".
As of yesterday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across the African continent reached 1,162,437, with the death toll from the pandemic climbing to 27,023, while some 884,505 patients had recovered, according to the Africa CDC.
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Noting "signs of hope" in terms of a decrease in the number of new cases in Africa during the past week, Nkengasong, however, emphasised the need to avoid "prevention fatigue", and intensify precautionary measures, such as the use of masks, social distancing and increase Covid-19 testing. South Africa, Morocco and Ethiopia have conducted the highest number of tests in Africa.