By Tada Jutha, Maiduguri
Over 83, 000 People may die of COVID-19 pandemic, Warns WHO: The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has warned that about 190,000 people could die of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; if containment measures failed.
Moeti disclosed this in a new study of WHO released Thursday in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. “Twenty nine million to 44 million people could get infected in the first year of pandemic if containment measures fail,” said the study report.
The report, according to Moeti; was a research based on prediction modelling of 47 countries in the WHO African Region with a total population of one billion. On findings on COVID-19 study, the report said: “The model predicts the observed slower rate of transmission, lower age of people with severe disease and lower mortality rates compared to what is seen in most affected countries of world.
“The lower rate of transmission, however, suggests a more prolonged outbreak over a few years. “It was also revealed that smaller African countries alongside Algeria, South Africa and Cameroon were at a high risk if containment measures are not prioritized.”
Dr. Moeti noted: “While COVID-19 likely won’t spread as exponentially in Africa as it has elsewhere in the world, it likely will smoulder in transmission hotspots. “COVID-19 could become a fixture in our lives for the next several years unless a proactive approach is taken by many governments in the region,” noting that; “We need to test, trace, isolate and treat.”
The study recommends that countries across Africa need to expand the capacity particularly of primary hospitals and ensure that basic emergency care is included in primary health systems.
“The importance of promoting effective containment measures is ever more crucial, as sustained and widespread transmission of the virus could severely overwhelm our health systems,” she warned.
She noted that curbing a largescale outbreak is far costlier than the ongoing preventive measures governments are undertaking to contain the spread of virus.
According to her, physical distancing and hygiene improvement, aim to slow down the transmission of the virus so its effects happen at a rate manageable by health system.