Coronavirus storm brewing in Africa, warns top EU diplomat
Brussels (dpa) - The European Union's top foreign affairs official sounded the alarm on Friday over the spread of Covid-19 in Africa.
Europe is at the epicentre of the new coronavirus pandemic, but the potentially lethal respiratory disease has also expanded in Africa, where memories of the Ebola outbreak are still fresh in a number of countries.
"Africa is a particular concern to us," Josep Borrell said in Brussels, "They are our neighbours and the pandemic there could get out of control very rapidly."
Covid-19 has hit Europe hard, claiming more than 35,000 lives so far. But the continent is comparatively well equipped to deal with the crisis, with a ratio of 37 doctors to 10,000 people, according to Borrell. In Africa this ratio is 1 to 10,000.
It is crucial that sanctions in place on certain countries do not prevent the delivery of medical supplies, the EU official stressed after a videoconference with the bloc's foreign ministers.
EU development ministers are to discuss how to assist Africa at talks next week, according to Borrell.dpa