Coronavirus in Africa


The number of COVID-19 cases globally are is growing exponentially. It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second hundred thousand cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.

“Countries are doing their best to suppress infection and take the pressure out of the epidemic and more importantly off the health system,” added Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, adding “we do know that that is very difficult to sustain.”

As of March 23, WHO recorded 334 981 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in 190 countries. 14 652 people have died from COVID-19 so far.

At the press conference, Dr Tedros said “to win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.”

He also said that the WHO continues to “hear alarming reports from around the world of large numbers of infections among health workers,” adding that “if we don’t prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.”

Director-General underlined the WHO “has been working hard with many partners to rationalise and prioritize the use of personal protective equipment. Addressing the global shortage of these life-saving tools means addressing every part of the supply chain from raw materials to finished products.”

As for the spread of the coronavirus throughout the African continent, Dr Ryan, who has some 25 years of experience in outbreak response said “I have found African countries and particularly communities in Africa to be exceptionally resilient, hugely creative and capable of mounting responses right from the community level up.”

He also said “the UN system is fully activated to support countries in Africa. In preparation, we have established emergency diagnostic capacities in every country, we have sent personal protective equipment to nearly every country, in Africa. Our country officers are deployed in all countries in Africa.”