The African continent since the outbreak of the Coronavirus had recorded relatively low numbers compared to other continents.
Just a week ago only five African countries had confirmed cases. But currently over 34 African countries have cases totalling over 700 with at least 17 deaths.
The African Union has already warned that Africa could witness a sharp increase in cases.
On Thursday John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said the situation could get worst because “We are picking some people but we are also missing some people.”
He adds that “The situation will get worse before it gets better because the chances are clear that people have slipped through.”
This concern has been confirmed by emerging reports of the virus now spreading in local communities.
The local infection rate is gradually surging although most of the earlier cases confirmed were imported.
1🇹🇩TCD https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/nXVJwuMfXb
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) March 20, 2020
With Africa’s weak health care systems, there are fears should local infections continue to increase, things could get worst for many countries.
Countries like Ghana, South Africa and many others have all confirmed local infection cases despite a ban on public gatherings, schools and religious activities.
Many African countries have also imposed travel bans to help stop the spread but without focus on local mode of transmission, Africa could be in danger.
Ghana’s Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Wednesday said that the country is likely to record more cases of COVID-19 within the next two weeks.
“The health experts tell us that the next two weeks are critical in determining whether or not we will get significant community spread” he told a news conference.
Health experts are warning that Africa is likely to become the new front of the pandemic.
In the event of high cases and deaths, the World Health Organization is now concerned about the impact on delivering of health supplies due to the many travel bans imposed by African countries.
WHO’s Africa chief Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has already expressed concern about travel restrictions and their impact on the ability to deliver needed resources.
Worldwide, the virus has infected nearly 220,000 people and killed over 10,000.