COVID-19: Africa could be next epicentre of coronavirus - WHO warns

COVID-19: Africa could be next epicentre of coronavirus - WHO warns

- The World Health Organisation has warned that more cases of coronavirus could be in Africa than in any other continent

- The organisation made the warning as the cases in Africa keep increasing

- WHO says Africa does not have enough ventilators to deal with a pandemic

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Africa could become the next epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

This is because there has been a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the past week across African countries.

However, these cases are lower than those recorded in parts of Europe and the United States.

According to WHO, Africa does not have enough ventilators to deal with a pandemic, BBC reports.

The organisation's Africa director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said WHO is focusing on prevention rather than treating the virus because African countries don't have the capacity to treat many coronavirus patients.

She said: "We want to minimise the proportion of people who get to the point of needing critical care in an ICU, because we know that these types of facilities are not adequate by any means in the majority of African countries.

"I have to say the issue of ventilators is one of the biggest challenges that the countries are facing."

In other news, a medical doctor identified as Dominic Essien has died in Akwa Ibom state after showing symptoms of the deadly coronavirus.

He was a physiotherapist, who owned a private clinic in Uyo and was also a lecturer in the Department of Physiology, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

The incident was confirmed by the chairman of the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nsikak Nyoyoko.

In a statement on Thursday, April 16, Nyoyoko said Essien showed symptoms of coronavirus, after which he was rushed to the Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo, where he died.

The statement read: “I was called last night by a colleague who intimated me that one of our colleagues was sick with a week history of fever, cough and shortness of breath which worsened yesterday with his SPO2 as low as 72%, requiring him to be placed on oxygen at his clinic.

“I immediately called upon a member of the State #COVID19 Response Team to swing into action and somehow, later last night, our colleague was admitted into ISH and managed by specialists in respiratory medicine.

“With the symptoms elucidated above, a suspicion of COVID-19 was entertained and he had his sample taken today awaiting transportation to the laboratory for COVID-19 testing."

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