The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has praised African leaders for supporting a joint continental strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
John Nkengasong told the BBC’s Newsday programme that public health initiatives on the continent, including increased testing, contact tracing and wearing of face masks, had led to a drop in new coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) previously said the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa may have passed its peak. On Monday it released fresh data that indicated Africa had reported a 12% drop in new virus cases.
Dr Nkengasong said: “Our numbers reflect the public health efforts and leadership as the continent has rallied around a joint continental effort scaling up testing and following up contact tracing and very importantly masking.
“This virus is in the community and without a strong community response and engagement there’s no chance that we can fight and that is what we are doing.”
He said the continent’s experience with diseases like Ebola had helped countries to develop contact tracing measures that have helped in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the early interventions put in place by different countries also helped in containing the virus.