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  • Africa has reached a crucial moment in its fight against Corona virus.

  • There are now more than 5000 cases of coded.

  • 19 on infections have been reported in virtually all of the 54 countries that make up a continent of 1.2 billion people.

  • It's taken Corona virus longer to reach Africa than other parts of the world.

  • Authorities in several countries have already sprung into action.

  • South Africa imposed a 21 day locked down before a single death had been recorded and strict measures are in place in many countries, including Rwanda, Kenya in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • It seems that the continent has learned lessons from other parts of the world and from dealing with its own crisis with a bowler in 2014.

  • The World Health Organization has also pointed to Africa's young population as a source of hope.

  • The median age of 19.4 could translate to fewer fatalities per capita than countries with elderly populations such a Spain or Italy.

  • But conditions in Africa are in other ways much more challenging than in Europe or Asia, particularly when it comes to health care.

  • The UK is national health service has 7000 critical care beds, and it's assumed that won't be enough.

  • At the height of the crisis here, the average low income country in sub Saharan Africa has just 50 beds.

  • Then there are ventilators, which is going to be critical for the most severe cases, access to these very significantly from country to country.

  • Marley, for example, have reportedly just 56 ventilators for a population of 17 million.

  • Beyond this is important to look a living conditions that are going to make social distancing and self isolation near impossible.

  • For Some millions of Africans live in informal settlements or crowded slums, some without easy access to water.

  • And although communities outside of cities may be less densely populated, the high prevalence of HIV AIDS and malnutrition in parts of the continent could increase the risk covert 19 poses to rural communities.

  • Add all that up, And it's not hard to imagine that death rates could be much higher in Africa than they have been in other parts of the world.

  • Bill Gates has warned the pandemic could claim 10 million African lives if left unchecked.

  • That's why South Africa and others have moved quickly to get ahead of the virus before it can take hold.

  • But lockdowns create huge social problems in countries where many people need to go out every day to put food on the table.

  • And African governments simply don't have the financial firepower to counter a slump in economic activity.

  • Officials warn that 5 to 10% of African GDP could be wiped out at a stroke.

  • Rich nations have been over to borrow money at historically low interest rates in order to invest in their health systems and shield workers from the worst economic impacts.

  • Just look at the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the U.

  • S Congress last week, the 60 vote threshold having been achieved.

  • The bill is passed.

  • Many low income countries across Africa are now shut out of debt markets.

  • Negotiations are underway for debt relief, but Africa's recovery will depend on much more than that.

  • The World Bank has announced $14 billion of financial support.

  • The International Monetary Fund has a war chest of $10 billion available for the poorest countries.

  • This is a response, but it is likely to prove insufficient.

  • Urgent action is needed to counter economic and human catastrophe in Africa and elsewhere.

  • The else catastrophe makes clear that we are only a strong as the weakest bell system.

  • Global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is in everyone's interests.

  • Corona virus is a global problem.

  • If it is not stopped in every country, it will find safe havens from which to re infect other parts of the world.

  • African leaders say they cannot be left to fight the virus alone.

  • If they fail in their struggle, the whole world will pay the price, okay?

Africa has reached a crucial moment in its fight against Corona virus.

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What coronavirus will mean for Africa | FT

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/04
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