Coronavirus fears in Africa are on the rise, with the number of infections surging day by day. However, according to the World Health Organisation, the fear of the virus causing a massive number of deaths seems to be the larger scare.
The WHO, in a study, revealed that the virus could kill 150,000 people in Africa in a year unless urgent action is taken adding that nearly a quarter of a billion people will be infected.
Authors of the research, published in the journal BMJ Global Health, predicted that while infection rate could be contained by the swift measures that many African countries have taken, the underlying issue would be the health systems that could still quickly become overwhelmed.
A few days ago, the WHO had predicted that the Coronavirus could “smolder” in Africa for years. More than 72,391 confirmed infections and 2,493 virus-related deaths have been reported by African countries, according to figures released on Friday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of cases has risen by more than 42% in the past week.
While the disease seems to be moving slower than in other virus-hit nations across Europe, mainly be due to poor surveillance or less developed transport links, the study suggests that it could claim a lot more lives in comparison.
According to an estimation by the study, 4.6 million people would need to be admitted to hospital, while 140,000 would have severe COVID-19 infection and 89,000 would be critically ill. That would lead to some 150,000 deaths (between 83,000 and 190,000), the study suggested.
"The region will have fewer deaths, but occurring more in relatively younger age groups, amongst people previously considered healthy –- due to undiagnosed non-communicable diseases," the report said, adding that these trends were already emerging.