The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging caution over the increasing number of African countries rolling back Covid-19 surveillance and quarantine measures.
The WHO says this is especially “worrisome in a continent that still has the lowest rates of vaccination in the world”.
It said that because of the pressure to open up the economy, countries were cutting back on surveillance and other measures.
“It is a matter of concern that nearly half of all countries in Africa have stopped tracing the contacts of cases. This, along with robust testing, is the backbone of any pandemic response”, said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
The WHO’s caution comes amid a recent spike in Covid cases in other parts of the world.
“Lifting the public health measures does not mean lifting the foot off the pedal of pandemic vigilance,” Dr Moeti said.
About 201 million people or 15% of Africa’s population are fully vaccinated compared with the global average of 57%, according to WHO.