Graphic shows cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Africa.
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HEALTH

Coronavirus spreading in Africa

By Jordi Bou

March 19, 2020 - Africa’s youthful population – median age 19.4 – may help to reduce fatalities but transmission could be harder to prevent in poorly sanitised cities and fragile health systems.

Africa has lagged behind the global curve for coronavirus infections and deaths, but in the past few days has seen a significant rise in cases.

Experts have repeatedly warned about the perils for the continent, given its weak health infrastructure, poverty, conflicts, poor sanitation and urban crowding.

Africa should “prepare for the worst”, the World Health Organization's director-general has said.

South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised economy, has the highest toll in sub-Saharan Africa and the second highest on the continent after Egypt, which has recorded 196 cases.

The country’s first coronavirus infection, confirmed on March 5, was detected in a man who had arrived from Italy — the new centre of a pandemic that has infected more than 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,000.

PUBLISHED: 19/03/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: CDC
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