Africa is transitioning out of the pandemic phase of the COVID-19 outbreak and moving towards a situation where it will be managing the virus over the long term, the head of the World Health Organization on the continent has said.

“I believe that we are transitioning from the pandemic phase and we will now need to manage the presence of this virus in the long term,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti told a media briefing on Thursday.

“The pandemic is moving into a different phase … We think that we’re moving now, especially with the vaccination expected to increase, into what might become a kind of endemic living with the virus,” she said.

“Over the past two years, the African continent has gotten smarter, faster and better at responding to each new surge in cases of COVID-19.

“Against the odds, including huge inequities in access to vaccinations, we’ve weathered the COVID-19 storm with resilience and determination.”

Moeti’s optimism contrasts sharply with the warnings from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has said repeatedly the pandemic is not over and that it is premature for countries to think that the end might be imminent.

“Wherever you live, COVID isn’t finished with us,” Tedros said this week. He has cautioned that new coronavirus variants are likely and could undo the progress made so far, saying populations in Africa are among the most at-risk.

Read the whole article at Aljazeera