WHO Predicts COVID Will Take Heavy Toll in Africa

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Without quick action, the new coronavirus could sicken up to a quarter-billion people in Africa during the pandemic’s first year and claim 190,000 lives, a new modeling forecast suggests.

Up to 5.5 million people could require hospitalization, 140,000 could have severe COVID-19, and 89,000 would be critically ill, the World Health Organization study says.

The forecast — led by author Humphrey Karamagi, from WHO’s office in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo — has been accepted for publication in the journal BMJ Global Health.

The study predicts lower exposure rates and a slower spread of the new coronavirus in Africa than in other parts of the world. It also forecasts fewer severe COVID-19 cases and deaths than in other regions, including the United States and Europe.

However, related increases in hospital care would divert already scarce resources for major health problems in Africa — such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition — which would worsen the

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