Africa completely unprepared for COVID-19; death numbers could be staggering

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
By Paul Martin

by: Isabelle Z
Monday, May 04, 2020

If you thought the coronavirus death toll in places like Italy, Spain and the U.S. was bad, it could really be a drop in the bucket compared to what might happen when the virus takes hold in Africa.

Although the 54 countries in Africa have reported less than 20,000 confirmed cases so far, the continent is considered to be weeks behind Europe, and the rate of increase seen in Europe looked quite similar to Africa’s numbers at this stage. The World Health Organization is warning that there could be mass devastation there given how woefully unprepared most countries are for a medical crisis of this magnitude.

In fact, for every million people in Africa, there are just five ICU beds. Hospital beds are also in short supply, with the entire continent having just 1.8 hospital beds for every 1,000 people; in France, there are 5.98 beds per 1,000 people.

Many Africans are unable to take the precautions that are keeping a lot of us in America and Europe safe, like frequent hand washing. More than half the population lives in highly overcrowded slum areas, and conditions like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition are making lots of people there especially vulnerable. With 36 percent of Africans having no access to washing facilities at home, it’s not surprising that experts are predicting absolute devastation.

The Rest…HERE

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