YAOUNDE, Cameroon

Over 10,000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 in Africa so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

At a virtual media briefing, Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa region director, said one of the biggest challenges in protecting health workers has been the global shortage of personal protective equipment.

“Health workers have concerns about taking the virus home, they suffer psychosocial pressures from working round the clock and in some communities they face stigma and discrimination,” she said.

“Together we will be discussing how COVID-19 is affecting health workers, who take care of all of us… they have heightened risk of getting infected with COVID-19.”

There are over 769,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa — with more than 435,000 recoveries and 16,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

Situation in Madagascar

Dr Michel Yao, WHO Africa emergency operations manager, said they are closely monitoring the situation in Madagascar that is ‘’changing quite fast.’’

Yao said they are helping the East African country increase its capacity for treatment. “With all the partners, support has been provided to scale up the country’s treatment capacity.’’

He said the number of cases have increased in the last two weeks.

Regarding Madagascar’s Covid-Organics (CVO), he said a protocol has been established between the WHO and Madagascar to push forward clinical trials.

In May, President Andry Rajoelina launched CVO, an organic herbal concoction, claiming that it can prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.

The island country has recorded 8,162 virus cases so far, including 69 deaths and 4,662 recoveries, according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

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