Keeping COVID-19 at bay in Africa
(courtesy: The Lancet, 29 Apr 2020)
On Feb 15, 2020, Egypt recorded Africa’s first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) 12 days later, Nigeria recorded the first sub-Saharan Africa incident. 2 months later, the Comoro Islands and eSwatini are the only two countries of 54 in Africa that are unaffected by the global pandemic, stretching health systems and nearly paralysing economies. The African Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC), an African Union body partnering with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, is leading broad measures to control COVID-19. The disease has since accelerated in Africa, reaching 27 427 cases, 1298 deaths, and 7474 recoveries as of April 24. Compared with the rest of the world, Africa’s infection rates are relatively low, but there is a growing sense of urgency given the acute absence of health-care
infrastructure on the continent.