Coronavirus in Africa: according to WHO, cases on the continent have exceeded 100,000

Coronavirus in Africa: according to WHO, cases on the continent have exceeded 100,000

There have been 3,100 deaths from the virus in Africa.

“So far, Covid-19 has made landfall in Africa and the continent has been spared the high number of deaths that have devastated other parts of the world,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

On a briefing on Friday, Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Program, said: “On the one hand, good news – the disease did not take off very quickly, but (there is) a concern some countries are accelerating in the number of cases. “

Ryan said that in Africa there are “very many very vulnerable groups” and that the impact of the coronavirus on these groups remains to be seen.

“We don’t know what the impact will be on malnourished children with chronic malnutrition, we don’t know what the impact will be on overcrowded refugee camps. So there is still a lot to learn “, he explained. said.

In comparison, Europe reported 4,900 deaths when the number of cases reached 100,000 on this continent, according to the press release.

The decline in the death rate in Africa could be partly explained by the fact that Africa is the youngest continent in demographic terms with more than 60% of the population under 25 years, according to the first analyzes of WHO.

The continent has performed about 1.5 million Covid-19 tests, but test rates remain low and many countries continue to need help to scale up the tests, said WHO.

African governments quickly imposed containment measures, including physical and social distance, which WHO says has helped slow the spread of the virus, as well as contact tracing, isolation and washing. hands.

A new WHO modeling study predicts that if containment measures fail, even with fewer cases requiring hospitalization than elsewhere, medical capacity in much of Africa would be exceeded.

With over 18,000 cases, South Africa has the highest number of coronavirus patients on the continent. The country has imposed strict restrictions, including a five-week lockdown, which ended on April 30, to combat the spread of the disease. The government plans to reopen schools on June 1 and says the education department will deploy guidelines for recovery.
South African health officials said memories of failures with HIV – and the considerable resources the country has accumulated since – were driving their fight against this new virus.

Bukola Adebayo, David McKenzie and Brent Swails from CNN contributed to the report.


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