THE Covid-19 pandemic remains a major threat in Sadc as cases of the pandemic continue to worsen in the region accounting for more than 50 percent of all new daily infections in Africa.
In a statement, Sadc chair and Mozambique President Mr Filipe Jacinto Nyusi noted that the world has witnessed a worrying situation as a result of the increase of new infections caused ultimately by a new strain of coronavirus with higher potential of transmissibility.
Against this background, he said the Covid-19 pandemic remains a major challenge in almost all Sadc member States.
“Now, national daily statistics show a steep increase in the spread of the virus and in the number of deaths across the region, which evidences that the region is deep into the second wave of the pandemic.
“In fact, more than 50 percernt of all new daily infections of Covid-19 on African continent have been reported in the Sadc region,” said Mr Nyusi.
Under this scenario, he said Sadc’s health systems were rapidly reaching the limit of their capacities with the situation anticipated to worsen in the short-term.
Mr Nyusi said in the first two weeks of January this year, the total number of new confirmed Covid-19 19 cases surged to 346 010, accounting for 22 percent of the total number of cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic in the region.
The global health crisis was first detected in China in December 2019 before spreading to all continents.
“There is a growing concern that infections are being driven in part by a new strain of coronavirus known as 501.V2, which has so far been reported in three Sadc countries according to the Africa Centre for Disease Control.
“The socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the lives of citizens is becoming widespread and devastating. Education, employment and economic activities have been severely disrupted, worsening poverty, with all underlying social consequences, inter alia the increase in crime and gender-based violence,” he said.
President Nyusi called upon Sadc to intensify co-operation and collaboration between member States, through increased data sharing, policy harmonisation and standardisation, pooled procurement of essential medical and non-medical equipment to address the pandemic in a more effective way.
“We must also reinforce our health systems so that they remain ready to deliver other life-saving services and better withstand future pandemics,” he said.