LUANDA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- An Angolan official for public health has announced here that the country needs to continue promoting vaccination against COVID-19 as a critical strategy in controlling the disease and saving lives, despite the declaration of the end of the pandemic as a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
The Secretary of State for Public Health, Carlos Alberto Pinto de Sousa, revealed on Saturday that Angola's vaccine coverage is only 47 percent of people with at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the challenge is to reach the recommended 85 percent set by WHO.
He announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be integrated into routine vaccination, meaning everyone aged 12 and above should receive at least two doses.
He also mentioned that presenting a vaccination certificate upon entering or leaving the country, or in the absence of it, providing a negative COVID-19 test, will continue to be mandatory.
In March 2020, WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic while the novel coronavirus continued to spread worldwide.
As of May 3, 2023, there have been more than 765 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, including over 6.9 million deaths, reported to WHO, according to the UN agency's statistics.