India COVID-19 Crisis: A Wake-Up Call for Africa
Africa’s top health officials and the African Union have deemed the Indian COVID-19 crisis as a wake-up call for Africa. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the public health agency of the African Union has issued a warning to African governments and citizens to be cautious.
The resurgence in India’s COVID-19 cases is particularly concerning as India and Africa have roughly the same population. Furthermore, the fragile health systems of Africa could ultimately result in the same scenario as in India. Director of Africa CDC, John Nkengasong, warns that the African continent must be very, very prepared. He further highlights the lack of health care workers and oxygen in the continent. Nkengasong urges African countries to avoid mass gatherings.
Africa’s vaccine supply is heavily dependent on India as the AstraZeneca vaccines that are distributed by the global COVAX, is manufactured by the Serum Institute in India. This will adversely affect the rollout of vaccination programs in Africa. Africa has already suffered a setback as India decided to cut back on supply and reduced exports to address domestic needs.
As the world watches the COVID-19 crisis in Indian in disbelief, the Africa CDC has convened with the African Union an emergency meeting on May 8 to devise a collective action plan.
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