World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says Africa recorded over 15,000 COVID-19 deaths. The UN health agency gave the update on its regional official Twitter account @WHOAFRO on Wednesday.
WHO stated on its dashboard that “there are over 748,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa, with more than 409,000 recoveries and 15,000 deaths”.
The regional office noted that South Africa had 381,798 cases and 5,368 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 37,801 confirmed cases and 805 deaths, while Ghana had 28,969 confirmed cases and 153 deaths.
It added that Seychelles, Gambia and Eritrea were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region. Seychelles, the office said, had 108 confirmed cases with zero death; Gambia – 132 confirmed cases with five deaths, while Eritrea had 251 reported cases with no death.
Meanwhile, a statement posted on the office’s website indicated that Sierra Leone International Airport will reopen to commercial flights from July 22, four months after closure to international passenger flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the initial measures before the closure of the airport included travel restrictions and mandatory quarantining of passengers arriving into the country. The measures helped to delay importation of the virus until March 31 when Sierra Leone reported its first positive COVID-19 case.
Preparations are now underway and the aviation authorities and partners are getting ready for the commencement of full operations at the Lungi International Airport, the main gateway in and out of Sierra Leone.
Reopening of the airport is part of the recent actions taken by the Sierra Leonean authorities to ease some of the restrictions instituted as part of the COVID-19 response.
Schools are now partially opened for examination candidates, and bans have been lifted on inter-district travels and places of worship, but with requirements to observe preventive measures remain.
Evans Liyosi, the WHO Representative in Sierra Leone, said “reopening the country is a welcome development. “However, ensuring that all the appropriate public health measures are in place and are fully implemented will help to safeguard lives and prevent further spread of the epidemic.”
WHO said Sierra Leone recorded 1,727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 66 deaths.