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Fight against COVID-19 pandemic changes "everything globally": senior AU official
From:Xinhua  |  2021-02-02 20:08

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ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The global fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has marked the beginning of a struggle that changed "everything globally," a senior African Union (AU) Commission official has said.

The statement was made by Amira Elfadil, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, as she emphasized that the declaration of COVID-19 as an outbreak early on followed by a public health emergency of international concern and later a pandemic "marked the beginning of a struggle that changed everything globally."

"The year 2020 was significant for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the AU Commission, AU member states, the world, and every human," Elfadil said in the Africa CDC's comprehensive Annual Progress Report for 2020, which was published over the weekend.

The AU Social Affairs Commissioner stressed that the pandemic forced "almost all AU Commission activities to a standstill," with priority attention on how to get the continent out of the COVID-19 pandemic and get the nations and economies back on track.

According to Elfadil, since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, the AU Commission, through the Africa CDC, implemented several strategic initiatives to support Member States in their preparedness and response.

Strategic actions began with the development of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for Coronavirus Outbreak and the formation of a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral Africa Task Force for Coronavirus Response, according to her.

The strategy and task force, which were endorsed by Africa Ministers of Health in February 2020 and approved by the Bureau of the AU Heads of State and Government in March 2020, "provided direction for all other initiatives of the AU."

She also emphasized that support to member states "was priority and has been in the form of provision of test kits and other medical supplies, and training in several technical areas, including laboratory, case management, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, and supply chain management."

Elfadil also stressed that strategic partnership has been a crucial success factor in the response to the pandemic across the continent, as many partners responded to the challenge with their resources.

The Africa CDC's Annual Progress Report for 2020, among other things, highlights key actions taken by the AU, through the Africa CDC, in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent and other activities undertaken by Africa CDC in 2020.

According to the latest figures from the Africa CDC, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent reached 3,567,552 as of Tuesday morning, as the death toll due to the pandemic stood at 91,006.

A total of 3,052,143 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered across the continent so far, the AU Commission's healthcare agency disclosed. Enditem