Africa shocked U.S. under Trump has worst coronavirus response in the world

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President Donald Trump has “failed in his basic duty to protect Americans”, world’s renowned journalist Bob Woodward told Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, referring to the deadly coronavirus that has killed close to 220,000 people in the United States under Trump’s leadership, the worst death toll in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 8.1 million Americans have also contracted the coronavirus, the highest number of infections in the world.

More worrisome, things are getting worse, not better, with the U.S. now averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, up more than 60 percent since a mid-September dip.

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Health experts have also warned that the United States is in the midst of another surge, with the country on Friday reporting the most infections in a single day since July.

And it’s not just some parts in the United States where COVID-19 case counts are trending in the wrong direction. Only Missouri and Vermont recorded more than 10 percent improvement in the average number of reported cases over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Virtually everywhere else, coronavirus cases went up over the past week with Florida and Connecticut seeing an increase of 50 percent or more, and 27 other states recording between 10 percent and 50 percent increase in new cases.

Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Johns Hopkins University also noted that ten states in the United States on Friday reported their highest one-day case counts. Those states are Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

And it’s not just the number of infections rising, hospitalizations from the coronavirus have also risen virtually everywhere when compared to July.

As things worsen in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, experts are warning that the coronavirus crisis is escalating further.

At its regular press briefing on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that things may get even worse and countries need to prepare as the northern hemisphere battles the regular flu season.

What about coronavirus in Africa?

While not out of the woods yet, Africa has been least impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with a little over 34,000 deaths, 1.6 million infections and 1.3 million recoveries so far, according to data from the Africa CDC.

Most of the cases in Africa and deaths have come from a few countries in southern and northern Africa.

South Africa, for instance, has recorded almost 60 percent of all the fatalities in the continent, according to data from the Africa CDC.

Shock and disbelief in Africa as cases rise in U.S.

With a weaker healthcare system, Africa was expected to be impacted more severely than the rest of the world, and many people in Africa also expected the United States to do well.

Many now watch in shock and disbelief as the United States struggles with mounting cases and deaths on a daily basis with the country finding it hard to agree on whether to wear face masks or not.

Why is Africa doing well?

The director of the Africa CDC John Nkengasong highlighted some of the right steps Africa took early in the pandemic to beat the deadly disease.

Speaking with ABC News’ Linsey Davis early this month, Nkengasong said Africa has successfully responded to the novel coronavirus with fewer fatalities and infections, at least for now, because of its early “cooperation, collaboration and coordination efforts” against the deadly virus that has killed more than a million people worldwide and infected over 35 million people globally.

Nkengasong, who is also the World Health Organization (WHO) envoy to Africa, and the winner of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award, said early preparation and the recognition that COVID-19 was a common threat to the entire continent were “extremely valuable.”

The Africa CDC boss said leadership at “many levels” could also explain Africa’s fewer deaths and infections, starting from the African Union.

The AU, he said, played a major role and brought African heads of state together to “work with the Africa CDC to coordinate” the continental strategy against COVID-19.

Africa has recorded more than 1.5 million infections and close to 37,000 deaths and more than 1.,2 million people who contracted the virus have so far recovered, according to the latest data by the Africa CDC released on Monday evening. For a continent with 1.3 billion people and 55 countries, Africa has the best coronavirus response in the world.

Nkengasong said many African countries took “bold measures” from the beginning of the pandemic with “very aggressive lockdowns” to combat the virus.

The Africa CDC director added that there was also the “uniformity in messaging” across the continent.

“The message was clear. We never wavered with the messaging. We started wearing mask before the WHO made it mandatory,” he said.

He said there was never a debate over whether Africans should wear masks or not to beat the virus. There was also, he added, the recognition that African nations needed to ramp up shortages of test kits.

In addition, Nkengasong said, there was also “the engagement of the community” to win the fight against the virus.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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