Coronavirus: ‘Africa should wake up and ‘prepare for the worst’ - WHO

'Wake up and prepare for the worst',  WHO now advices Africa
  • On Wednesday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Africa should wake up and prepare for the worst.
  •  South Africa has now become the continent’s new focus of concern after cases nearly doubled to 116 from two days before.
  • A dozen African countries have already reported a growing number of positive tests for Covid-19 as the illness is officially known.

The cradle of mankind needs to wake up and prepare for the worst against the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19), the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

On Wednesday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Africa should wake up and prepare for the worst.

“I think Africa should wake up. My continent should wake up,” said Ghebreyesus, who hails from Ethiopia.

Ghebreyesus comes on the backdrop of new cases of coronavirus rising by the day within the continent. South Africa has now become the continent’s new focus of concern after cases nearly doubled to 116 from two days before.

Fourteen of the latest cases were from local transmission — and six were in children under 10 according to CGTN Africa.

"If the virus comes here it's going to kill everyone," Nicholas Mashabele, an electrician living on the edge of Alexandra township told BBC Africa. "We don't have money to buy hygiene [products] to protect ourselves. We're living in high risk," he added.

As in many poorer communities around South Africa, and indeed across the continent, families in informal settlements in Alexandra on the outskirts of Johannesburg often live in cramped single rooms and share communal outdoor toilets with dozens of neighbours.

South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, this week called that kind of rate “explosive” in the country with the most cases in sub-Saharan Africa.

That said, South African government, its National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), and the health system at large have been widely praised for their initial response to the pandemic, and appear to have made good use of the extra weeks this continent has been given - as the pandemic has torn through Asia and Europe - to learn from the mistakes and successes of other nations.

Health experts fear Africa’s fragile health system may not cope with the Covid-19 outbreak and have called governments to be more cautious and act fast rather than waiting for ‘hell to break loose’.

Every day, tens of thousands of people throughout the continent pack into commuter trains, buses, and minivan taxis to head to work or run errands everyday exponentially increasing the risk of faster transmission.

A dozen African countries have already reported a growing number of positive tests for Covid-19 as the illness is officially known, with the number of infected Kenyans now standing at seven.

At least 7,873 people globally have died from coronavirus while more than 194,000 infections have been confirmed in at least 164 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Linet Toto excited as she unveils sleek ride after 1 month in office [Photos]

Linet Toto excited as she unveils sleek ride after 1 month in office [Photos]

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote poised to overtake another Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin on Bloomberg billionaires list

Diwali 2022: Is Monday a public holiday in Kenya?

Diwali 2022: Is Monday a public holiday in Kenya?

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Mzee Kibor's will made public, revealing how vast wealth and millions will be distributed

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Ini Edo posts new photos amid reports of welcoming a baby through surrogacy

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Mathias Pogba brands Paul Pogba 'a so-called Muslim steeped in witchcraft' amid fetish claims about Kylian Mbappe

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Referee behind chaos at AFCON was rushed to hospital after match

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Ne-Yo speaks out after wife Crystal announced end of their 8-year marriage

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job

Eddie Butita speaks on his fallout with Miss Mandi, offers her a job