WHO Coronavirus Kill People in Africa
Newly elected Director-General of WHO says coronavirus could claim thousands of lives in Africa in years to come. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RTX37CKB

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says coronavirus could claim thousands of lives in Africa in years to come.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that up to 190,000 people in Africa risk succumbing to the coronavirus pandemic in case countries do not take the right direction in controlling it’s spread.

Since the outbreak of the virus, Africa has recorded 53,334 cases and 2,065 fatalities out of a global death toll of nearly 267,000 as of Thursday according to statistics from John Hopkins University.

However, WHO now warns that several studies done worldwide indicate that even more Africans might die from the deadly coronavirus first discovered in Wuhan, China.

The UN health agency, for example, cited a new study by its regional office in Brazzaville which found that between 83,000 and 190,000 could die and 29 to 44 million be infected during the period.

According to WHO, the research is based on a prediction and covers 47 countries with a total population of one billion. Prediction arises from the fact that Africa as a continent is characterised with high levels of unemployment and short of proper health facilities.

The African continent in the past years has also proven susceptible to many epidemics such as Ebola that have claimed many lives in several countries including Uganda, DR Congo, Sierra Leone among others.

Unlike most epidemics, the coronavirus which was recently declared global pandemic has not yet hit the African continent so hard with many countries having no or only a few registered deaths since it’s an outbreak.

WHO Coronavirus Kill People in Africa
Newly elected Director-General of WHO says coronavirus could claim thousands of lives in Africa in years to come. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse – RTX37CKB

However, WHO has attributed these few numbers of infections on the continent to the big population of youths among most African countries which makes their bodies strong enough to fight the virus.

 “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 stated.

According to the WHO Director in Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, while COVID-19 likely won’t spread in Africa as it has done elsewhere in the world, it will likely continue affecting countries for the next years unless a proactive approach is taken by many African governments.

“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,” he added. “We need to test, trace, isolate and treat,” Matshidiso said.