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WHO urges African nations to put conflicts behind and stay focused on Corona fight

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The World Health Organisation has urged African nations to come together and focus on combating coronavirus, keeping conflicts at bay, especially amidst the ongoing crisis. As the economies were gradually reopening, the countries reported surge in the COVID-19 infection cases.

“For at least three months, vulnerable communities have been experiencing social-economic difficulties exacerbated by COVID-19,” WHO’s Africa head, Matshindiso Moeti, said Thursday in a virtual media briefing conducted over Zoom.

“It is in the interest of peace, international security, and equity that all countries and partners do more for the civilians affected by the violent conflict. I’ll call for all parties to the conflict to implement the UN Security Council resolution on COVID-19, focusing on our common enemy, the virus, and ceasing hostilities.”

At the start, the continent was one of the least affected by the pandemic outbreak as compared to other nations but gradually the count of infected cases and deaths started moving up. The WHO warned that the rate at which the virus was accelerating in the region, coupled with lack of tests, medical supplies and fragile health care system amid political and social unrest, it could pose to greater challenge to people’s live.

Moeti asked the government authorities to put internal conflicts behind and build a unified front to combat the common enemy, coronavirus. WHO Africa region reported that the continent had over 640,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with over 316,000 recoveries & about 14,000 deaths.

Dismas Mokua, a political analyst based in Kenya told Bloomberg that rise in corona count severity “may create a recipe for political unrest.” He added,“Citizens who are unhappy with the status quo will blame the government for both errors of omission and commission that result in increased infections and deaths, as well as lost economic opportunities.”

Situation has gone out of control especially in the nations with militant insurgencies and conflicts. African countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali and South Sudan are struggling with extremists groups and inter-communal clash. As per the recent UNHCR report, these conflicts led to displacement of over 1.5 million people in the Sahel region this year, increasing the total number of displaced across sub-Saharan Africa to 27 million.

The Central Africa Republic’s health minister, Pierre Somse, said on Thursday the government was barely managing the health and humanitarian supply situation in the country, but was making continuous efforts to reach out to the most vulnerable to provide the aid during the pandemic.

“Half of the people are in a humanitarian situation, one-third in displaced camps,” he said. “What we have done is to focus [on] looking for those who are at high risk and making sure they are detected early enough and brought to the hospital in order to avoid them having complications.”

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