The head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has told journalists in a virtual news conference on Wednesday, that while Africa so far had seen few cases of the deadly coronavirus, the continent should “prepare for the worst”.
African countries have so far recorded the lowest cases of coronavirus which has now infected over 200.000 people round the globe.
But in the past days, figures on the continent where health care systems are fragile. Confirmed cases rose from 300 to 400 in just one day amid decisions by governments to limit travels, movements, public gatherings in an effort to curb further spread of the disease.
“My continent should wake up,” the former Ethiopian government minister said, adding that, “233 cases of the new coronavirus had been registered in sub-Saharan Africa and four people had died, making it the least-affected region in a global pandemic that has infected more than 200,000 people and killed more than 8,000”.
“Probably we have undetected cases of unreported cases,” he said.
He warned that that number could scale up quickly.
“In other countries, we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point, so the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today,” he said.
The WHO has warned that mass gatherings should be avoided. Governments across the continent have imposed draconian measures to try to slow the pace of infections, closing borders, banning the gathering of over 50 people, suspending schools and closing other public joins like shops, restaurants and schools.
Mimi Mefo Info