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Around 1.8 billion people are at heightened risk of COVID-19 and other diseases because they use or work in health care facilities without basic water services, warn the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund. “Working in a health care facility without water, sanitation and hygiene is akin to sending nurses and doctors to work without personal protective equipment” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Water supply, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities are fundamental to stopping COVID-19. But there are still major gaps to overcome, particularly in least developed countries.” As of 16 December 2020, 2,408,385 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed across Africa of which 57,072 proved fatal and 2,036,030 resulted in recoveries.

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An official from the Nairobi Health Department disinfects a street (file photo).