WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) officials have warned African nations to brace themselves for an impending onslaught from the coronavirus pandemic as the continent’s current freedom from the virus may not last.
Over the last month, the coronavirus pandemic has spread like wildfire, afflicting 176 countries worldwide, affecting 226,504 people and leading to 9,285 deaths. Africa, has been the least affected continent, however, with only 233 cases across the entire continent and only 13 deaths so far.
This has led to speculation that the virus may struggle to survive in tropical climates or there may be something in the African immune system that combats it. Despite this, African nations have not been complacent as several countries have placed restrictions on foreign visitors and have cancelled direct flights to highly affected countries like China, the US, Italy, the UK and Singapore.
Warning African nations not to drop their guard, WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the continent needs to wake up as official numbers of cases do not likely reflect the full picture.
Few hours ago, Nigeria confirmed five new cases making it eight positive cases of Coronavirus. He warned that numbers of positive cases could scale up quickly if care is not taken.
Dr Tedros said: “Till date more than 200,000 people have been and more than 8,000 killed with Africa as the least affected. Africa should wake up though as the continent probably has undetected cases or unreported cases.
“In other countries, we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point, so the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today WHO’s recommendation is actually that mass gatherings should be avoided.”