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WHO Worries About “Silent Coronavirus Epidemic” In Africa

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti speaks during a news briefing in Nairobi, Kenya March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Africa has so far been spared the worst impact of the coronavirus, but the World Health Organization is worried the continent could face a “silent epidemic” if its leaders do not prioritise testing for it, a WHO envoy said on Monday.

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“My first point for Africa, my first concern, is that a lack of testing is leading to a silent epidemic in Africa. So we must continue to push leaders to prioritise testing,” Samba Sow told a news conference.

The WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Africa was the region with the fewest diagnosed coronavirus cases, accounting for less than 1.5% of the global total and just 0.1% of deaths.

The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said some countries had taken measures to curb the disease at a high economic cost. Those measures meant the pandemic was having a milder impact so far than some models had predicted, Moeti said.

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Written by PH

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