WHO fears ‘silent’ virus epidemic unless Africa prioritizes testing

Africa has so far been spared the worst impact of the coronavirus, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) is worried the continent could face a “silent epidemic” if its leaders fail to prioritise testing for it.

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

Moeti said Those measures meant the pandemic was having a milder impact so far than some models had predicted,.

Tedros credited the continent’s experience dealing with other epidemics as helping it scale up its response to the coronavirus and be spared the impact seen elsewhere so far.

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