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UN says 300,000 Africans to die from coronavirus

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The United Nations has projected in a report that about 300,000 Africans would die from the novel coronavirus, as the disease spreads rapidly and the continent scrambles to get medical supplies.

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The Africa Centers for Disease Control said on Saturday there were already more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 on the continent from more than 20,000 infections in 52 of 54 countries recognized by the United Nations. The African Union recognizes 55 countries in Africa, including Western Sahara.

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Among the dead is the prominent chief of staff of the Nigerian President, Abba Kyari, who passed away in the commercial city of Lagos on Friday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that in the past one week alone, the number of coronavirus infections across Africa has risen by 51 percent in the past one week alone, while the number of reported deaths has increased by at least 60 percent in the same period.

In fact, just over two months since COVID-19 was first detected in Africa, the disease has now spread to nearly every country, resulting in over 20,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths across the continent. 

As several countries across Africa struggle to get basic medical supplies, the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) estimates that at least 300,000 Africans will die from the virus and 29 million could be pushed into extreme poverty.

Amy Niang, an international relations lecturer at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand, told the Times that “the brutal withdrawal of the U.S. of its contribution to the W.H.O., and the management of the crisis more globally, is a stark reminder that Africa’s faith in multilateralism has become untenable”

The New York Times reported, citing WHO, that there were less than 2,000 working ventilators in public hospitals across 41 African countries, and 10 countries have none.

Axios noted, citing the UN, that “even if hospitals can acquire new ventilators, they still have to worry about staffing, reliable electricity and sufficient oxygen supply. There is widespread struggle to ensure people have access to necessities such as clean, running water and soap. Nearly 97% of homes in Liberia were without access to clean water and soap in 2017.”.

“Major disparities exist among African nations. South Africa has more ventilators than others and a stronger economy, while Burkina Faso has 11 ventilators for its 20 million people, the Times notes,” according to Axios.

The only little chance the world has to prevent bloodbath in Africa is billions of dollars from the international community, health experts and policymakers say.

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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

2 COMMENTS

  1. …..Faith in “Multilateralism”…….since the Europeans invented “multilateral ” the economic stratification as a seperation between those who wanna be and act white from 80% of their population which is truly multi-racial, religious, tribal, and family oriented has grown wider by the year.
    No true “Africa for Africans” between Nation States or even within them, as the seperation due to politics, usually caused and advantaged by foreign interest, has kept any chances of unity of purpose movements having any merit.
    While Euros and IN bureaucrats argue over how many nations are Africa there are over 30 of them with foreign armed and boots on ground militaries quelling what are in reality mini revolts by have bots against the haves.
    Almost every sovereign treasury has less funds in them than do foreign owned banks sitting in every capital city.
    No African States have formed solid trade blocs between themselves and the ones who pretend to do so are at “Mercy” of impositions by W.T.O. World Bank, and bull…..ing Euro/US/ISRAEL controlled UN do nothing bureaucrats, all who come from the “Have” society ranks.
    Why this is so should be left to those in Africa to straighten out, and with but only 300,000 dead and more gong from poverty into dire poverty will not change one damn thing.
    Buisness as usual.

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