633 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 33 African countries – WHO

March 19, 2020
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says there are now 633 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Africa in 33 countries.

The UN health agency disclosed this in its regional official twitter account @WHOAFRO.

According to WHO, there have been 17 COVID-19-related deaths as at Thursday.

In past 24 hours, the agency said the Gambia, Mauritius and Zambia had announced first cases.

“WHO is supporting countries with surveillance, diagnostics and treatment. Take care while travelling to stop the spread of germs and protect yourself against COVID19.

“Avoid unprotected close contact with anyone developing cold or flu-like symptoms. Immediately seek medical care if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing,’’ it advised.

Meanwhile, the International Labour Congress (ILO), has said that almost 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

”An initial assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work says the effects will be far-reaching, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty, and proposes measures for a decisive, coordinated and immediate response.

He said the preliminary assessment note, COVID-19 and the world of work: Impacts and responses, calls for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures across three pillars.

He noted that the three pillars are protecting workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, and supporting jobs and incomes.

“These measures include extending social protection, supporting employment retention such as short-time work, paid leave, other subsidies and financial and tax relief, including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

“In addition, the note proposes fiscal and monetary policy measures, and lending and financial support for specific economic sectors,” he added.

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