WHO Predicts Africa’s Coronavirus Cases Could Hit 10 Million In Six Months

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Coronavirus cases in Africa could surge from just thousands now to 10 million within three to six months, according to provisional modelling, a regional World Health Organisation (WHO) official said.

But Michel Yao, head of emergency operations for WHO Africa, said on Thursday [April 16, 2020] it was a tentative projection that could change. He noted worst-case predictions for the Ebola outbreak had not come true because people changed their behaviour in time.

“This is still to be fine-tuned,” he told a media teleconference. “It’s difficult to make a long-term estimation because the context changes too much and also public health measures, when they are fully implemented, they can actually have an impact.”

Separately, new research said Africa could see 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus even under the best-case scenario, according to modeling by the Imperial College London.

Under the worst-case scenario with no interventions against the virus, Africa could see 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections, the report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa said.

The world’s poorest continent has seen more than 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and about 900 deaths so far – relatively few compared with other regions.

But there are fears that the numbers could balloon and overwhelm shaky health services.

“We are concerned that the virus continues to spread geographically, within countries,” said Matshidiso Moeti, director of WHO’s Africa region, which comprises 46 sub-Saharan nations and Algeria.

“The numbers continue to increase every day,” she added.

Ghana’s coronavirus cases

According to the Ghana Health Service, as of April 14, 2020, a total of 50,719 persons have been tested with 641 being positive for COVID-19 with 83 recoveries and 8 deaths.

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source: Al Jazeera

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