COVID-19 Scientific and Public Health Policy Update – (22 September 2020)

In addition to our Weekly Outbreak Brief on the spread of COVID-19 and the actions that Africa CDC is taking to help African Union Member States. Africa CDC shares a weekly brief detailing the latest developments in scientific knowledge and public health policy from around the world, as well as updates to the latest guidance from WHO and other public health agencies. Contents of this document are not intended to serve as recommendations from the Africa CDC; rather, it is a summary of the scientific information available in the public space to Member States. It is important to note that the outbreak is evolving rapidly and that the nature of this information will continue to change. We will provide regular updates to ensure Member States are informed of the most critical developments in these areas.

A. Executive summary
● Two studies report on a possibility of in-flight transmission of SARS-COV-2 over long commercial flights among passengers and flight attendants. The studies suggest that guidelines for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection among passengers should consider individual passengers’ risk for infection, the number of passengers traveling, and flight duration.
● A study reports on an in-depth analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 landscape in Africa and identifying distinguishing mutations in the African SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Results showed a similarity between the African SARS-CoV-2 genomes and genomes in other countries.
● A prospective cohort study assessed outcome of patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 following treatment with convalescent plasma (CP). Findings suggest that treatment with CP with higher levels of IgG against S1 may benefit patients with moderate and severe COVID-19.
● This study aimed to identify what the additional health-care costs of a strategic preparedness and response plan in 73 low-income and middle-income countries. Findings suggest that the total cost estimate for the COVID-19 response in the status quo scenario was US$52·45 billion over 4 weeks, at $8·60 per capita. For the decreased or increased transmission scenarios, the totals were $33·08 billion and $61·92 billion, respectively.
● A mathematical model for the COVID-19 in Cameroon, incorporates some key epidemiological and biological features of the disease. Findings suggest that isolation has a real impact on limiting COVID-19 transmission.




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