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Slow spread of Covid-19 in Africa stirs controversy

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Many researchers are still struggling to explain the reason Covid-19 spread has been very slow in Africa compared to the rest of the world.

Sanusi Research & Consulting’s tally on Tuesday, 2 June 2020 shows the disease has infected 155,070 people and claimed 4,369 lives on the continent, accounting for only 2.43% and 1.16% of the world total cases and total deaths respectively. The world has recorded 6,388,116 total cases and 377,862 total deaths.

Lesotho, Namibia, Eretria, Seychelles, and Uganda have recorded zero deaths of coronavirus, according to the tally. North Africa accounts for 43% of the coronavirus deaths on the continent.

Some experts argue that the numbers in Africa are so low primarily because many countries, especially those in denial of the existence of the disease, are not testing enough and there are many cases that have not been reported or accounted for.

For example, John Magufuli, Tanzania’s president, does not believe his country’s results.  He was quoted by The Economist newspaper on May 16 saying “we only see them releasing positive, positive, positive results.” He said the national laboratory even tested positive papaya, goat, and sheep samples.

Other people say, unlike in countries such as in Europe and the U.S where numbers are far more exponential, Africa was quick to respond by introducing tough measures including locking down their economies.

Over fourty-two African countries had, by the end of April, introduced lockdown measures to prevent the virus from spreading into local communities.

– APA

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