Covid-19 could kill 300,000 Africans, WHO warns leaders

WHO has warned that Africa could be the next epicentre of the deadly Covid-19.

They also said it’s likely that at least 300,000 people would die in Africa and 30 million will be pushed to poverty.

So far this continent has seen 1,000 deaths and almost 19,000 infections, much better than other regions like Europe and Asia. But it has seen a sharp rise in infection cases last week, reports BBC.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa – which warned 300,000 could die – called for a $100bn (£80bn) safety net for the continent, including halting external debt payments.

The WHO says the virus appears to be spreading away from African capitals. It has also highlighted that the continent lacks ventilators to deal with a pandemic.

More than a third of Africa’s population lacks access to adequate water supplies and nearly 60% of urban dwellers live in overcrowded slums – conditions where the virus could thrive.

North Africa is the worst affected region. Algeria, Egypt and Morocco have all had more than 2,000 cases and at least 100 deaths. Algeria has had the most deaths, with 348.

Elsewhere, South Africa has also had more than 2,000 cases, with 48 deaths, while the continent’s most populous nation, Nigeria, has had 442 cases and 13 confirmed deaths out of a population of some 200 million.

There has been lot of talks around, “inadequate testing” throughout Africa.

WHO Africa director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said, “If you look at the proportion of people who travel, Africa has fewer people who are travelling internationally,” she said.

But now that the virus is in within Africa, she says that her organisation is acting under the assumption that it will spread just as quickly as elsewhere.

There are around 15 African countries where the virus has not spread far so, if these countries adopt strong social distancing measures, they could contain the virus, she added.

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