In Africa, a disaster caused by the COVID-19 feared

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En Afrique, une catastrophe causée par la COVID-19 redoutée

The COVID-19 can not only cause thousands of deaths on the african continent, aim may also sow the seeds of economic devastation and social, has alerted the dr. Matshidiso Moeti, head of the world Health Organization for Africa.

Photo : Reuters / Afolabi Sotunde

There are just two weeks, the forecasts of the experts were nothing less than pugaya. Africa would be quickly overwhelmed by the pandemic of sars coronavirus, which is inevitably disastrous in a poor continent with health systems failing.

The number of contaminations on the continent has since risen sharply, but it is still very short of the heavy balance sheets identified in Europe or in the United States.

According to the latest statement drawn up by the Agence France-Presse, more than 12 800 infections and nearly 700 deaths have been recorded officially in Africa, in 52 of its 54 countries. Only the archipelago of the Comoros and the tiny kingdom of Lesotho have escaped.

The most affected country in sub-saharan Africa, South Africa, has surpassed 2,000 confirmed cases and 24 deaths, and in the north of the continent, Algeria has 256 dead for nearly 1,800 boxes. Without common measurement with the addition of 871 000 new cases and 71 000 deaths in Europe.

En Afrique, une catastrophe causée par la COVID-19 redoutée

In Ghana, the workers of a factory in the capital, Accra, is working to produce personal protective equipment, as directed by the government of the country.

Photo : Reuters / Francis Kokoroko

But the tide is rising, warn experts

These last four days, we saw the figures doubling, warned Thursday Michel Yao, in charge of emergency situations in Africa, the world Health Organization (WHO).

Some countries might soon experience a peak important, he added, without citing any.

The virus is spreading beyond the major cities. It means that a new front has opened up, worried the head of the WHO for the continent, dr. Matshidiso Moeti.

It is the great unknown, which raises the question of the availability of screening tests. Despite the generosity of the billionaire chinese Jack Ma, who has promised to deliver more than one million, their failure is glaring.

South Africa, which has the system of health the most developed in sub-saharan Africa, claiming more than 73,000 tests performed to this day, for a population of 57 million inhabitants.

It is much too little for the type of challenge [our country] is facing, however, believed his minister of Health Zweli Mkhize, who planned to ride the daily 30 000.

In comparison, Nigeria is not displayed at sti official counter than 5000 tests to… 190 million inhabitants. The screening system is completely saturated, ” says a doctor at a private clinic in Lagos, and we don’t even know if the results are reliable.

En Afrique, une catastrophe causée par la COVID-19 redoutée

The medical staff of a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, the practice is a simulation of support of a large number of patients affected by the COVID-19.

Photo : Reuters / Baz Ratner

Due to lack of testing, many countries are reduced to the estimates

Kenya had anticipated at the end of march up to 10 000 positive cases and 30 April. It does not account to this day that 189. We do not do testing in the communities, acknowledged Friday the director general of the ministry of Health, dr. Patrick Amoth. But we stick to our projections, so we’ll see…

Dr. John Nkengasong, chief of the african Centre for control and prevention of diseases, provided that, in the absence of tests, the statistics are not perfect.

But he dismisses the idea that many cases go under the radar. Hospitals are packed with patients, which is not the case, he rejoiced.

The epidemic has spread to Africa a few weeks after Europe, allowing stis leaders to adopt measures of prevention earlier.

Most governments have closed their borders and severely restricted travel and public contacts on their territory. Curfew boot, state of emergency, containment, the entire range was used.

These measures have suffered from many glitches in the city’s most densely populated and poorest, where social distancing is the illusion, and staying home is tantamount to dying of hunger.

En Afrique, une catastrophe causée par la COVID-19 redoutée

A health worker takes the temperature of a person in a township near Durban, South Africa.

Photo : Reuters / Rogan Ward

These decisions have, however, slowed down the epidemic? “It is too early to tell,” repeated dr. Moeti.

Figures to support the president of south africa Cyril Ramaphosa has him convinced. Before the confinement, the average increase in the number of cases daily was 42 %. Since the beginning of the confinement, the increase on a daily basis is increased to 4 %, he detailed.

Lack of means, the time may be earned on the pandemic thanks to the containment and other quarantines has not enabled african health systems to plug their holes, far from it.

There is a severe shortage of treatment structures for the critical cases of Covid-19, noted the WHO.

The number of beds available in the intensive care units does not exceed 5 to 1 million inhabitants, compared to 4000 in Europe. And that of “respirators” in public hospitals is less than 2000.

This finding is, nobody dares to predict the extent to which the epidemic will take on the continent.

The WHO has pointed out that 31 african countries had reported fewer than 100 cases and still wants to believe that containment is possible.” But the threat persists. The Covid-19 can not only cause thousands of deaths but also to sow the seeds of economic devastation and social, is a reminder of her head for Africa.


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