WHO commends SA on declining Covid-19 infections

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A health worker in safety gear.
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  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended South Africa for its declining confirmed Covid-19 cases.
  • It currently records less than 2 000 new cases per day, compared with the peak when around 12 000 daily cases were recorded. 
  • However, South Africa's confirmed cases account for nearly half of all cases in Africa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended South Africa for its declining confirmed Covid-19 cases.

In a statement on Thursday, the WHO said it was greatly encouraged by the ongoing measures to suppress the spread of SARs-COV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

It added South Africa had taken decisive steps such as "instituting response co-ordination mechanisms at all levels, setting up control interventions for all critical pillars of response and imposing public health and social measures, including movement restrictions, curfews, closure of businesses, schools and places of worship".

The WHO said it was these public health measures that helped to limit the exponential spread of the coronavirus and allowed the country to establish capacities for testing, isolation and treatment of cases as well as tracing and quarantine of contacts.

READ | Abdool Karim: SA heading to low level Covid-19 transmission threshold, but second wave threat remains

Following the peak of confirmed Covid-19 cases, daily infections in South Africa have been on the decline, with the country now entering its sixth consecutive week of decline.

It is currently recording fewer than 2 000 cases per day juxtaposed against two months ago when around 12 000 new cases were being recorded daily.

"The strong commitment and leadership by the South African government have been and continue to be instrumental in combating the Covid-19 pandemic," its regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said.

"Without this dedication, we would not be where we are today.

READ | Lockdown Level 1: Covid-19 testing to be increased to contain outbreaks, says Ramaphosa

"The latest trends in South Africa are clearly encouraging. However, we must remain vigilant and be prepared to effectively tackle any resurgence. We are not yet out of the woods and so we must not relax."

News24 previously reported the country was on its way to reaching the threshold of a country with low-level Covid-19 transmission.

This according to leading epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim.

But it is not out of the woods yet, with Karim warning there was a continued risk and threat of having another wave of infections.

Following the downward trend of new infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening announced the easing of lockdown regulations with a move to Level 1.

- Compiled by Alex Mitchley

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