COVID-19 situation expected to worsen in SADC – Chairperson
With more than 50% of all new daily infections of COVID-19 on the continent being reported in the SADC region, health systems are rapidly reaching the limit of their capacities and the situation is expected to worsen in the short term, SADC Chairperson, Filipe Nyusi said.
Nyusi, who is also the President of Mozambique, in a statement this week said during the first 2 weeks of January 2021, the total number of new confirmed COVID 19 cases surged to 346 010, accounting for 22% of the total number of cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic in the region.
“There is a growing concern that infections are being driven in part by a new strain of Corona virus known as 501.V2 which has so far been reported in three SADC countries according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control,” Nyusi said.
Nyusi called for enhanced vaccine research capabilities and development of regional manufacturing capacity for vaccines in the future. He called for intensified cooperation and collaboration between Member States, through increased data sharing, policy harmonisation and standardisation, pooled procurement of essential medical and non-medical equipment to address the pandemic in a more effective way.
“We commend Member States and all SADC Citizens for the countless sacrifices made and hardships endured since the beginning of the Covid-19. Yet, we wish to appeal to all of us to re-apply efforts to curb the high infection and mortality rates, as only if we stand together and collaborating, we will have resilience and capacity to overcome this pandemic,” Nyusi added.