UN health officials reported a doubling of COVID-19 cases in Africa in the last week. “Last week, there was a 51% increase in the number of reported cases on my own continent, Africa, and a 60% increase in the number of reported deaths,” said WHO Director-General. , Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference organized virtually from Geneva.
As of April 17, the WHO African region had more than 12,360 confirmed cases of COVID-19. “With the current challenge of obtaining test kits, the actual numbers are likely to be higher than indicated,” said Dr. Tedros, originally from Ethiopia.
In this light, researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health urge a coordinated global effort in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with “countries around the world [taking] concrete steps to assist Africa in staying ahead of the curve, even as they confront their own epidemics.”
“When HIV spread like wildfire across the African continent, it took decades for the world to mobilize a response. Epidemics know no borders, and success in controlling the epidemic in any one country will be limited if epidemics continue to rage elsewhere. Today, we have the chance to avoid a repeat of history. Africans are doing their part. Now is the time for us to do ours,” write the authors.
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