The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that in the first year of the pandemic, about 190,000 people in Africa could die from Coronavirus if control of the disease fails.
In a recent report performed by the regional office of the agency in Brazzaville, it was estimated that between 83,000 and 190,000 could die and over that time 29 to 44 million could be poisoned. The work is focused on statistical projections and it encompasses 47 countries with a combined population of one billion.
AFP reported that though the spread of the virus has been slow across the continent which has not yet recorded the soaring number of infections or deaths seen in Europe, the United States and other places, experts have consistently warned that Africa is particularly vulnerable to an outbreak, due to weak health infrastructure, high rates of poverty, numerous roiling conflicts and a proven susceptibility to previous epidemics.
The statement released by the UN agency on Thursday reads in part;
“The model predicts the observed slower rate of transmission, lower age of people with severe disease, and lower mortality rates compared to what is seen in the most affected countries in the rest of the world.
“The lower rate of transmission, however, suggests a more prolonged outbreak over a few years.”
WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti added; “While COVID-19 likely won’t spread as exponentially in Africa as it has elsewhere in the world, it likely will smoulder in transmission hotspots”.
“COVID-19 could become a fixture in our lives for the next several years unless a proactive approach is taken by many governments in the region. We need to test, trace, isolate, and treat.”