WHO warns coronavirus could kill 190,000 in Africa
GENEVA: The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in Africa if it is not contained.
The WHO stated that the novel disease could infect between 29 million and 44 million in the first year if it is not managed properly.
WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti said that the projections are contained in a new WHO Africa study based on assumptions that no containment measures are put in place, which has fortunately not been the case.
Most countries on the continent have imposed restrictions on public gatherings, international travel, and curfews among other measures meant to curb the spread of the virus.
The virus hit Africa later than other continents and transmission rates are lower than elsewhere. “However, this could translate into a prolonged, years-long outbreak,” Moeti said.
The organization warned that small countries, as well as Algeria, South Africa, and Cameroon, could be severely affected.
Notably, the WHO Africa study covered only the 47 countries that belong to the WHO Africa region and not the entire continent. The organization’s regional definition excludes Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco.
There are now more than over 42,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.
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