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WHO warns Africa Covid-19 death toll could reach 190 000

World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the Coronavirus could kill up to 190 000 people in Africa.Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African news agency/ANA

World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the Coronavirus could kill up to 190 000 people in Africa.Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African news agency/ANA

Published May 11, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -

A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the Coronavirus could kill up to 190 000 people on the African continent in the first 12 months if containment measures fail.

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The research which looks at 47 African countries with a total population of one billion found that between 29 million to 33 million people could be infected in the first year and that the virus could spread less rapidly across Africa than other parts of the world.

"While Covid-19 likely won't spread as exponentially in Africa as it has elsewhere in the world, it likely will smoulder in transmission hotspots," said WHO's Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

Africa currently has 61 165 confirmed cases with 2 239 deaths and over 20 932 recoveries.

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Meanwhile, South Africa has little over 10 015 infections and 194 deaths. South Africa and Egypt currently have the highest number of Covid-19 cases.

"The predicted number of cases that would require hospitalization would overwhelm the available medical capacity in much of Africa.

"Covid-19 could become a fixture in our lives for the next several years unless a proactive approach is taken by many governments in the region. We need to test, trace, isolate and treat," said Moeti.

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