Africa CDC Policy Recommendation for African Union Meetings and Travel During COVID-19 Outbreak
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be readily transmitted human-to-human through small respiratory droplets and particles. The emergence of new more deadly and transmissible variants of concern, like the Delta variant, have made the pandemic even more difficult to control. Specifically, the Delta variant is more than two times as contagious as previous variants of the virus. For Africa, the circulation of these more transmissible variants in conjunction with the low COVID-19 vaccination coverage make the continent’s population more vulnerable and at risk of COVID-19 infections. Public health and social measures (PHSM), like wearing masks, physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings, are still effective at reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The global consensus has been to defer mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic as they can rapidly amplify infectious disease transmission and lead to new outbreaks of community transmission. The transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 have led many countries and organizations to minimize international travel and delay public gatherings of any size, not just mass gatherings. In response to the evolving pandemic, Africa CDC has revised and updated its guidance for the African Union regarding meetings and travel to meetings in Africa.