The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres has said that Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has many lessons for the rest of the world.
Africa so far has recorded over 92,348 cases with 2,918 deaths, and 36,117 recoveries as at May 20, 2020.
But there have been several predictions that the continent could become the epicenter of the pandemic with many deaths.
The World Health Organization has already estimated that the coronavirus could kill between 83,000 and 190,000 people in Africa if containment measures fail in the first year of the pandemic.
It also warned that between 29 million and 44 million could also be infected in the first year.
But Africa so far has reported lower cases than initially feared and lower deaths than the rest of the world.
In an interview with the RFL radio in France Guterres was quoted as saying that “Most African governments and organisations took in time very brave prevention measures which provide a lesson for some developed nations that did not.”
In a separate statement Guterres also said “Most [African countries] have moved rapidly to deepen regional coordination, deploy health workers, and enforce quarantines, lockdowns and border closures.”
He adds that African countries “are also drawing on the experience of HIV/Aid and Ebola to debunk rumours and overcome mistrust of government, security forces and health workers.”
Still early days
But the UN chief says it still early days for the pandemic in Africa and international help is still needed to strengthen health systems and food supplies on the continent to avoid a financial crisis.
#COVID19 update in Africa (As of 20 May 2020, 6 pm East Africa Time)
54 @_AfricanUnion Member States reporting 92,348 cases, 2,918 deaths, and 36,117 recoveries.
More information at https://t.co/fvcEaCHn37#COVID19 #FactsNotFear #AfricaResponds pic.twitter.com/J0zQSAzx25
— Africa CDC (@AfricaCDC) May 20, 2020
Last month the United Nations warned that the current coronavirus pandemic was likely to kill at least 300,000 people in Africa.
The global body at the time said the pandemic could also push nearly 30 million people into poverty over the next 3 to 6 months.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa then called for a $100bn safety net for the continent as well as a halt to external debt payments.