The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, has advised African countries to act fast to curb the spread of coronavirus.
She warned that not doing so could lead to a large death toll on the continent.
The philanthropist stated this on CNN while speaking on the effects of the deadly virus on third world countries.
“It’s going to be horrible in the developing world,” she said of a possible impact on African countries if COVID-19 situation on the continent turned out as bad as the situation in Europe, China or the U.S.
The philanthropist also said the low number of cases of COVID-19 in African countries compared to some other parts of the world is because of the limited testing facilities.
“Part of the reasons you are seeing the case numbers still do not look very bad is because they don’t have access to many tests.
“Look at what is happening in Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the streets, you are going to see that in countries in Africa,” she said.
She said African countries have poor health care system and need humanitarian support.
She added that when she “saw what China had to do to isolate enormous part of its population, my first thought was Africa. How in the world are they going to deal with this?
“I have been in townships all over Africa and slums. When we talk about physical distancing and hand-washing, if you live in slums who can’t physically distance, you have to go out and get your meals.
“You don’t have clean water to wash your hands.”
Coronavirus cases in Africa
According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), there are now 13,814 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 52 countries across Africa.
The centre on Sunday said the disease has killed 747 people while a total of 2,355 patients have recovered from it across the continent.
South Africa has the highest numbers in Africa with 2,028 cases and 25 deaths, followed by Egypt with 1,939 and 146 deaths, and Algeria with 1,825 cases and 275 deaths.
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