Initial responses to the pandemic by African governments have been praisedImage caption: Initial responses to the pandemic by African governments have been praised
A panel of experts gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed a number of factors that may be pushing the spread of coronavirus in Africa down.
Expertise in epidemic control, a young population and a possible effect of pre-existing immunity were cited as possible factors.
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The panel of experts, that included the WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, offered several explanations to the different behaviour of the pandemic in the continent, when compared to the rest of the world.
The swift application of lockdowns that came at a high cost for many economies was mentioned.
The structure of the African society of caring for the elderly at home was also cited.
But new explanations also emerged in the conference, such as the possible impact of smaller urban areas in many African countries, which means that the virus could travel less fast in more remote populations in rural areas.
The continent’s transport system was also mentioned, as cities and regions are not as interconnected as in other parts of the world.
Dr Moeti said that previous experiences in handling pandemics, such as Ebola, have also proven crucial when dealing with this pandemic.
But she warned that more research needs to be done to establish the true extent of Covid-19 on the continent.
More than 1.4 million confirmed cases have been reported in Africa with over 34,000 deaths. About one million people have already recovered.