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UN special envoy calls for unity in COVID-19 fight

By Nelson Kiva

Added 28th March 2020 08:04 PM

Xia said the UN was closely following the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region with concern at the alarming rate at which the Coronavirus is spreading.

UN special envoy calls for unity in COVID-19 fight

Xia said the UN was closely following the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region with concern at the alarming rate at which the Coronavirus is spreading.

"United and determined, we will defeat the COVID-19."  The United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Huang Xia, has said in the solidarity message to the region.

The message comes as countries in the region register increased cases of COVID-19 in the face of heightened efforts by governments to deal with the pandemic.

Xia said the UN was closely following the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region with concern at the alarming rate at which the Coronavirus is spreading.

"The Special Envoy wishes to express his profound solidarity with the people and the Governments of the region, during these trying times for the Great Lakes and the world," Xia said in the statement.

He encouraged the authorities and the people of the region to pursue with determination their efforts to strengthen preventive measures to curb the progression of the COVID-19.

In the region, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Ethiopia have all confirmed cases, while Burundi and South Sudan have not yet.

The health ministry on Saturday confirmed five new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 23 cases in Uganda.

The health ministry of Rwanda had earlier reported new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 54 cases in less than two weeks since the first case was reported.

According to Coranavirus tracker in Africa, cases by Saturday stood at 58 in DRC, 16 in Ethiopia, 31 in Kenya and Tanzania 13.

The envoy also encouraged the Governments of the region to continue to coordinate their efforts as much as possible to meet the challenges posed by this new pandemic.

According to the envoy, they should build on the vast experience accumulated in the continent, notably in the fight against diseases such as Ebola.

In this regard, he welcomed and expressed his full support for coordinated, regional initiatives such as the meeting of the ministers responsible for health in East Africa held this week, as well as decisions taken to contain the COVID-19 and its impact in the region.

The ministers issued several directives to all six partner states, regarding the coronavirus outbreak, top of which is a call for additional contingency and emergency funds to mitigate the impact of the disease in the region.

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