Set up better Covid surveillance, WHO tells Africa

Tuesday December 14 2021
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa. PHOTO | FILE


The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked Africa to set up more effective surveillance measures to curb the surge in Covid-19 cases in the continent.

“The current rising trend is a concern. Abrupt surge should be taken into consideration by countries. If we are starting to see an increase, especially at a time when we will be experiencing movements; it is a cause of concern,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

Speaking during the end year WHO press briefing in a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Dr Moeti emphasised the need for African countries to take decisive measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Kenya should target areas with high surges and institute public health measures to prevent a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, she added.

“The people should start doing sharper surveillance to see when the peak will be reached; this is not only for Kenya but countries that are seeing a surge,” Dr Moeti said. “Measures should be taken, by critically looking at when and where the surge is being reported.”

As of Monday, Kenya had recorded a 11.5 percent positivity rate in the daily coronavirus tests carried out, which was close to double the previous day’s rate of 6.5 percent.


The Health ministry’s acting director general, Patrick Amoth, said that in the past few days, Kenya has been experiencing a surge in the cases.

He urged Kenyans to be more vigilant and adhere to the Covid-19 preventive measures.

According to WHO-Africa regional office, Kenya, like many other countries in the continent, is experiencing a fourth wave of the Covd-19, speculatively attributed to the new variant of concern, Omicron.

“This is the largest surge Africa is experiencing since May last year and it is due to the emergence of the variants of concern. We are experiencing more cases and deaths. An estimated 40 percent of patients in Africa need supplementary oxygen,” Dr Moeti said.