While the epidemic continues to be a cause for serious concern across the globe, health experts are reportedly puzzled by the low infection rate in Africa.
If you’ve been on South African Twitter this morning, there is no doubt you would have noticed the hashtag #CoronaVirusSA trending. Before you start reaching for those medical masks, the virus has yet to breach the borders of Mzansi and, in fact, many African countries have remained immune from its effects. So much so that health experts across the world are reportedly surprised at the fact that the outbreak has yet to reach our continent.
Reports from the weekend revealed that there are only three confirmed cases of the coronavirus across Africa; one in each of Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria. Most importantly, the virus has yet to spread, with officials fearing that many African countries don’t have the infrastructure to prevent the epidemic from wreaking havoc on thousands of nationals across the continent.
One possible reason why the virus has yet to spread in Africa could be linked to the climate of many sub-Saharan nations. Although the suspicions are not confirmed, some health experts have suggested that there could be a link between a change in climate, and lower rates of transmission. “Perhaps the virus doesn’t spread in the African ecosystem, we don’t know,” said Yazdan Yazdanpanah, a French professor studying infectious diseases.
Regardless of the reason why the coronavirus has not hit our continent yet, health spokespeople across Africa have affirmed that we have all the tools necessary to defend an outbreak.
In Nigeria, experts boasted about the efficient manner in which the country dealt with 2014’s Ebola epidemic within three months. “Professor Altman from the Center for Disease Control Said: The continent has had its share of epidemics and whose countries, therefore, have a huge knowledge of the field and real competence to react to this kind of situation. The CDC [Center for Disease Control] responsible for the entire region of West and Central Africa is located in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which means that their organisational standard in health matters is very high”
Meanwhile, South Africa’s ambassador to China expressed similar confidence in Africa’s ability to handle the virus when he added:
“I have confidence in South Africa’s medical facilities, rapid response mechanism, professionalism, and scientific response,
Do you believe Africa can continue to fight off the Coronavirus?