Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

COVID-19: ‘Africa should wake up, prepare for the worst’, says WHO

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the excessive pace at which Coronavirus (COVID-19) is upsetting several economies in recent times, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said though Africa so far has witnessed a few cases of the devastating virus, the continent should “prepare for the worst” soon.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists in a virtual news conference that “Africa should wake up”.

Dr. Ghebreyesus stated that to date, 233 cases of the new Coronavirus had been registered in sub-Saharan Africa and four people had died.

This makes Africa the least-affected region in a global pandemic that has infected more than 200,000 people and killed more than 8,000, he said.

However, AFP reports that the WHO Chief warned that the official numbers likely did not reflect the full picture in the region.

“Probably we have undetected cases or unreported cases,” Ghebreyesus said.

Even if there truly were no more than 233 cases of the disease in Africa, he yet 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 declared.

“WHO’s recommendation is actually that mass gatherings should be avoided,” he said, urging Africa to “cut it from the bud, expecting that the worst can happen.”

“My continent (Africa) should wake up,” said a former Ethiopian Government minister.

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