- The experts have argued that Africa lacks comprehensive testing for the virus.
- The fear of the second wave infections besides the current projection that the continent is headed to its peak in infections.
- Currently South Africa and Egypt are the hard hit countries, with South Africa waning in recent days.
As coronavirus cases in Africa surpass 1 million, experts are worried that the numbers don’t reflect the true picture. They have argued that Africa lacks comprehensive testing for the virus. South Africa, with more than half of the cases in the continent, has been commended for carrying out widespread testing.
The African Union says that around 8 million tests have been conducted in the continent, but added that they should have been higher. The continent has so far recorded 1,025,545 cases.
Another problem that looms is the fear of the second wave infections besides the projection that the continent is headed to its peak in terms of infections. The continent has registered over 22,000 deaths from the virus and about 690,000 recoveries.
It is estimated that only five countries account for 75% of the total cases of the virus. The first case in the continent was confirmed in Egypt in February. As of May 13, all countries had recorded cases from the virus, the last being Lesotho.
The AU has however expressed concerns over the lack of data for Tanzania, the East African country that has claimed not having the virus. Director of the Union’s Centres for Disease and Prevention Control, Dr. John Nkengasong, said that their effort to reach out to Tanzania has proven futile.
Currently South Africa and Egypt are the hardest hit countries. However, South Africa has in recent days recorded a slight reduction in new infections. It has so far recorded 545,000 cases with 9,909 deaths.
The surge in new infections prompted an alcohol ban in the country as well as closure of all public schools, which are set to reopen on August 24. South Africa imposed one of the toughest lockdown restrictions in March, and started gradual easing in June.
The country earlier in the week received experts from the World Health Organization to help boost the country’s health system. Egypt, which is ranked second in the continent, has so far recorded 95,147 cases with 4,951 deaths.
The continent is faced with a lot of challenges as it pertains to the virus. Most of the healthcare systems are not well equipped, and in case of a surge, a majority of them will be overstretched.
The lockdowns serve as another big problem, since a huge chunk of the populations who are poor are deprived of a livelihood posing to their daily lives. Meanwhile countries on the continent are trying to come up with measures to help their citizens.
In Mozambique, for instance, the government has begun an initiative for the provision of funds for small and medium enterprises (SME) that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which include restaurants, agro-business and general trade. According to a report, around 200 companies had submitted their proposals for the funds provided by National Investment Bank valued at $22 million.