The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, has said more resources and logistics capacity are urgently needed to support the COVID-19 response in Africa.
Mr Ghebreyesus, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, said the continent is facing a health crisis it has never faced before.
He said cases of COVID-19 virus in the region have doubled in the past six weeks.
“Our continent is facing a health crisis unlike any we have faced before.
“Yesterday, we crossed 1 million reported #COVID19 cases in the region, with more than 20,000 deaths. The number of cases in the region has doubled just in the past 6 weeks.
“We urgently need more human resources and logistics capacity to support the response in an ever-expanding geographic area,” he said.
Almost 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Africa and over 27,000 deaths, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Tuesday.
In Nigeria, over 52,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed. Deaths from the virus stand at 1,004 as of Tuesday morning.
The WHO chief urged governments to ensure non-pharmaceutical measures recommended to fight the pandemic are in place.
He noted that countries all over the world have experienced significant outbreaks linked to events with large numbers of people.
He urged everyone to individually play its role as the world battles to end the pandemic.
“Everyone has a role to play, from cleaning hands to maintaining physical distance, staying at home if sick, and wearing masks where distancing is not possible”
“Governments must ensure measures are in place for surveillance, testing and contact tracing, to engage and empower communities, and to focus on the most vulnerable groups, including older persons,” he said.
With an increase in cases of Ebola, Ghebreyesus noted that COVID-19 is not the only emergency the region is responding to.
“More than 100 people have now been infected and 43 people have died in a new outbreak of #Ebola in the Equateur province of the #DRC.”