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Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:39 - Updated Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:38

Covid-19: SADC wants intensity in mass testing of COVID-19

Luanda - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called on the Member States of the regional bloc to intensify mass testing to identify as many positive cases of covid-19 as possible among the population.

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SADC recommends intense mass tests, in a day booked for journalists, in Angola

Photo: Pedro Parente

According to the Report on the Evolution of the Pandemic in the Region, that reached ANGOP on Monday, the SADC also encourages member countries to increase testing capacity using various innovative methods, such as antibody tests that determine the state of exposure of the people.

The document states that the introduction of various testing methods will be fundamental to assess the actual epidemiological picture of each country and determine the return of workers to the workplace, a reality already in place in Angola, through a selective and massive testing.

In this context, the Angolan government began on July 8 a campaign of rapid random mass testing in Cuanza Norte and Luanda provinces, with aim to assess the degree of immunity of the people and screening potential positive cases of covid-19 in communities.

In three days, 10,186 people had been tested, among vendors and residents of several municipalities of Luanda as well as of Cuanza Norte’s Cazengo municipality.

From the total of 10,000 people, 7,500 were tested in Luanda, with 57 samples representing 0.8 per cent expressing active or transitory phase of exposure to covid-19 to be reconfirmed with molecular biology testing.

The SADC report also shows that Senegal, through its Pasteur Institute, in partnership with British society Mologic, plans to produce 10-minute covid-19 test kits for distribution to other countries.

The document highlights that the Mologic society is specialized in the rapid diagnosis of epidemics such as Ebola, Measles, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Malaria, having received one million Euros aid from the British government.

The amount is intended for the materialization of this project, in partnership with the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (Senegal), so with the donation the covid-19 tests will cost less than one dollar and will be 5 to 20 times cheaper than the current molecular tests, reads the document.

According to the SADC, testing has already started in Senegal and will be extended to other African countries in the next phase.

In addition, the Southern African Development Community calls on those Member States that intend to lift the lockdown rules to do so in a phased manner, without compromising efforts to reduce the transmission of the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

It also reiterates that countries wishing to re-open educational establishments should consider establishing the basic minimum requirements, which should include the provision of basic hygiene facilities, water and screening availability.

The Angolan government planned to restart classes on July 13, but due to the considerable increase in positive cases of covid-19 it has cancelled until conditions are favourable.

Founded in 1992, SADC is an organization formed and supported by Southern African countries, aiming to promote socio-economic, political and security cooperation at the level of its members, as well as foster regional integration in order to achieve peace, stability and wealth.

Angola, Botswana, the Union of the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius Island, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe comprise the 16-Member States of this regional bloc.

Tags SADC   Saúde  

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