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Pandemic course in Africa different according to WHO

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100,000 people in Africa have been shown to be infected with the novel corona virus. Still, the continent’s coronavirus pandemic is taking a different course than anywhere else in the world, WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said in a statement yesterday.

„So far (…) the continent has been spared the high death toll that has hit other regions of the world,“ said Moeti. So far, 3,100 deaths related to the lung disease Covid-19 have been reported in Africa. When the WHO European Region reported 100,000 coronavirus cases, there were 4,900 deaths in comparison.

Young population in Africa

Initial analysis suggests that the relatively low death rate may have to do with the continent’s demographic structure, as more than 60 percent of all Africans are younger than 25. Older people are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill after infection. In addition, African governments introduced early exit restrictions, which, together with other measures, could have had a positive effect, it said.

Moeti, however, warned that African countries‘ health systems may not be robust enough to respond appropriately to a sudden surge in coronavirus cases. This is also why more tests are necessary. There is concern that easing security measures to contain the pandemic could lead to a significant increase in cases.

South Africa has the highest number of known coronavirus cases on the continent with over 20,000. The small Lesotho, however, has so far only two proven cases, according to authorities.