Dhe World Health Organization (WHO) is very concerned about the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Africa. Last week, the number of people infected on the continent increased by 51 percent, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday at an online press conference. The death toll increased by 60 percent. Given the lack of corona tests, there is probably a high number of unreported cases.
The number of confirmed corona cases in Africa is almost 20,000. Algeria reported 364 deaths related to the virus, 205 deaths were recorded in Egypt and at least 135 people died in Morocco.
The WHO called for African countries to be given financial support and medical equipment to help them fight the pandemic. The spread of the virus in Africa can still be controlled, said WHO director for emergencies, Michael Ryan. In order to achieve this, efforts to combat the corona virus would have to be intensified.
German Development Minister Gerd Müller is now pleading for the World Health Organization to be expanded into a kind of world pandemic center. “This pandemic is not the last,” warned the CSU politician on Saturday on Deutschlandfunk. And for some African countries, the current corona epidemic poses risks, including state decay.
New health threats had to be identified quickly and the procurement of medicines and vaccination campaigns coordinated worldwide. “The WHO has good conditions for this and is the organization,” said Müller. He hoped that Washington would also see this, since the virus “hits the population so massively”, especially in the United States. “The structures of the WHO are functional worldwide.”
The American President Donald Trump had stopped funding WHO and accused the organization of belonging to China. As a consequence, Müller suggested that the WHO be financed more by the state and made less dependent on donations. In addition, one must combine human and animal health in one approach and approach the best researchers internationally. The corona virus jumped from animals to humans and there are at least 40 such dangerous viruses. Consequences have to be drawn from this.
100 intensive care beds for all of Ethiopia
With its existing health structure, many African countries have no chance of fighting the virus, said the CSU politician. Ethiopia has more inhabitants than Germany, but only 100 intensive care beds. If the virus spreads like in Germany, there could be hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The governments in Africa had drawn conclusions from Ebola and one could hope for the influence of the climate and the age structure of the corona disease. But Africa is not just about fighting the pandemic. “Tensions, riots, hunger and even the danger of state decline in certain regions arise from this.”