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While the virus has been relatively slow to spread throughout Africa, hotspots are now emerging with countries such as Somalia and Tanzania both reporting a recent surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
As of May 17, Africa – the world’s second largest and second most populous continent – has recorded 81,882 infections, 2,715 deaths and 31,399 recoveries.
Egypt was the first African nation to report a case of coronavirus back in mid-February.
In the city of Kano in Nigeria, the situation looks particularly grim spurred by government inaction and “denial.”
Up until recently, the government of Kano claimed that the uptick in deaths was not due to COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus, but instead due to other reasons such as high blood pressure, diabetes, meningitis or acute malaria.
In response, Usman Yusuf, a hematology-oncology professor and the former head of Nigeria’s national health insurance agency stated that Nigerian leaders are “in denial, it’s almost like saying there is no Covid in New York.”
Experts have repeatedly stressed about the dire consequences if the virus is to hit developing nations with especially weaker health care infrastructures.
From a severe shortage of health care workers to the lack of fiscal and monetary capacity, if an outbreak is to occur within these regions, it will likely overwhelm the local hospitals and communities.
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