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Thursday, March 5, 2020

WHO briefs PAP on COVID-19

Members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) have been briefed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the status of COVID-19 in Africa and the continental areas where the risk is high.
Expressing PAP’s concern on the continued spread of COVID-19, previously commonly referred to as the Coronavirus at the joint sitting of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs, and the Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability, PAP’s Third Vice President Hon. Bouras DJAMEL said PAP was ready to cooperate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and African Union (AU) member states.
“The PAP, through its Health Committee will play an important role in this matter because this is an emergency scourge that has affected some of our people and it cannot be business as usual for the PAP,” said Hon. Djamel.
The assessment done takes into consideration the likelihood of further spread through human to human transmission, including transmission within healthcare settings, and high volumes of domestic and international travel.
Whilst the virus still causes severe illness and death, the WHO confirmed that health workers are at the frontline of the outbreak response and are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. 
“The WHO has deployed 45 experts in 10 of the priority countries to support COVID-19 readiness activities on the African continent. It is continuously engaging on preparedness and response measures addressing gaps identified in readiness assessment. The organisation will continue to strengthen surveillance and early reporting of cases. It will also enhance capacity to isolate and treat severe and critical cases.”
Hon. Lucia Mendes dos PASSOS chairperson of the Gender Committee emphasised that “What is happening with COVID-19 shows that investing in the health care system is a necessity. When we talk about financial issues, we should have a paradigm shift and prioritize funding for the health sector. There is need to link health to the economy.”

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