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AU says 17 African countries, regions under border closure amid COVID-19 pandemic
Published in Ahram Online on 24 - 09 - 2020

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) late on Wednesday said that 17 African countries and regions are under full border closure due to concerns related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.
The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission, said in its periodic report issued on Wednesday that some 17 African countries and regions are still under "full border closure" while closure of country-wide educational institutions has been activated across 33 African countries in an effort to halt the spread of the infectious virus.
According to figures from the continental disease control and prevention agency, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Africa has reached 1,420,629 as of Wednesday.
The Africa CDC also noted that the death toll due to illnesses related to COVID-19 in Africa has reached 34,327 as of Wednesday. The number of people who have recovered from the infectious virus across the continent reached 1,168,444 so far.
It noted that 9 African countries are practicing mandatory COVID-19 testing at borders.
According to the latest figures from the continental disease control and prevention agency, Morocco, South Africa and Ethiopia reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases during the past week.
Meanwhile, the Africa CDC had recently published COVID-19 guidelines, which reiterated that "due to disruptions in the global supply chain, some African countries may face the risk of an acute shortage of personal protective equipments."
"Preventing a crisis such as acute shortage of personal protective equipments for healthcare workers should be prioritized by health authorities in Africa, and in this context as part of the COVID-19 response," the Africa CDC had emphasized.
It also called on COVID-19 response teams across African countries to include actions to prevent PPE shortages in their planning, as adequate planning may minimize the negative consequences of an acute shortage.
The guidelines provide consideration and a series of options that can be used to inform country strategies in managing any shortages of personal protective equipment.

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