Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In Africa Coronavirus 'pandemic is accelerating'

The NY Times reports that Coronavirus Accelerates Across Africa. The virus was slow to start in many African countries, but epidemiologists say the number of confirmed cases on the continent is now rising fast.

Public health experts have warned that Africa could become the next epicenter of the Covid–19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization said last week that confirmed cases in Africa had doubled in 18 days to reach 200,000; the first 100,000 took 98 days.

“Even though these cases in Africa account for less than 3 percent of the global total, it’s clear that this pandemic is accelerating,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O.’s regional director for Africa, said in a video briefing last week.

She said that until there was a vaccine available, the continent would have to live with a steady increase of cases.

… what has often been perceived in Africa as a foreigners’ disease is increasingly reaching all sections of society. Testing is still extremely limited in most countries, so it is impossible to know how widely the pandemic has taken hold. But a month ago, the W.H.O. predicted that between 29 and 44 million Africans could become infected in the first year.

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