AFRICA HND NEWS

Jul. 3, 2020

Africa postpones CHAN 2020 and AFCON 2021 ,the major soccer large gatherings because of COVID-19.

The two major soccer competitions in Africa that bring together large gatherings of global fans from all Fifa continents to watch African national teams compete in their continent has been postponed because of COVID19.
CHAN and AFCON were to be played in the African nation of Cameroon, in 2020 and 2021 respectively though now postponed with the CHAN for January 2021 and AFCON, for January 2022 in the same country.
The decision was announced on the 30th of June 2020 after the executive committee of the African football federation CAF, decided in concert with the host of both games.
Cameroon is ready with some of the best soccer infrastructures now available in the continent of Africa to host it,s neighbors and counterparts from other African countries.
CAF had sent it,s medical team to Cameroon to assess the Coronavirus pandemic situation to make sure that things were in keeping with the world health organization COVID-19 requirements, the global health body headed for the first time by an African from Ethiopia, De Tedros.
The decisions also allow the host nation to improve on other infrastructures like hotels and roads.
Africa is a host of 54 countries, some of which have the fastest growing economies in the world today.
Many Africans have made it great in the world soccer stage with names like Roger Miller whose burst is in Wax in Madam Taussaurd in England.
Sports hold great opportunities for African youths and a great future in team sports.
Dr. Akwo Thompson Ntuba

Jul. 2, 2020

Brazzaville, 2 July 2020 – As African countries begin to reopen borders and air spaces, it is crucial that governments take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in infections due to the resumption of commercial flights and airport operations.

Many African governments acted swiftly, implementing confinement and travel restrictions in the early days of the pandemic. In the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region, 36 countries closed their borders to international travel, eight suspended flights from countries with high COVID-19 transmission and others had partial or no restrictions. So far Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania and Zambia have resumed commercial flights. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States is expected to open their airspace on 21 July.

While open borders are vital for the free flow of goods and people, initial analysis by WHO found that lockdowns along with public health measures reduced the spread of COVID-19. Even with border restrictions, imported cases have sometimes brought back COVID-19 to countries which had not reported cases for a length of time. For example, Seychelles had not had a locally transmitted case since 6 April 2020, but in the last week 66 new cases – all crew members of an international fishing vessel – have been recorded.

“Air travel is vital to the economic health of countries,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “But as we take to the skies again, we cannot let our guard down. Our new normal still requires stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.”

To resume international air travel, WHO recommends that countries assess the epidemiological situation to determine whether maintaining restrictions outweighs the economic costs of reopening borders if, for instance, there is widespread transmission of the virus. It is also crucial to determine whether the health system can cope with a spike in imported cases and whether the surveillance and contact tracing system can reliably detect and monitor cases.

It is important that countries have systems in place at points of entry including airports. Comprehensive entry and exit screening should be considered based on risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and as part of the overall national response strategy. Such screening may target, as a priority, direct flights from areas with community transmission. In addition, observance of preventive measures such as personal hygiene, cough etiquette, physical distancing remains crucial. Passengers should be registered and followed up, and if they develop symptoms be advised to inform health authorities.

“The resumption of commercial flights in Africa will facilitate the delivery of crucial supplies such as testing kits, personal protective equipment and other essential health commodities to areas which need them most,” Dr Moeti said. “It will also ensure that experts, who can support the response can finally get on the ground and work.”

The impact of COVID-19 on airlines is likely to be severe. African airlines could lose US$ 6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019 and job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million, half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment, according to the International Air Transport Association.

In the worst-case scenario, international air traffic in Africa could see a 69% drop in international traffic capacity and 59% decline in domestic capacity, according to an analysis by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Together with the World Economic Forum, WHO held a virtual press conference today with Dr Moeti, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission and Prosper Zo'o Minto'o, Regional Director, Western and Central African Office, International Civil Aviation Organization.

Notes to editors:

Within the WHO system, Africa is divided between two regional offices. The WHO Regional Office for Africa comprises 47 countries which include Algeria and most of sub-Saharan Africa.