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The coronavirus is a threat to Africa's population of more than 1.2 billion


<b>The coronavirus is a threat to Africa's population of more than 1.2 billion</b>The COVID-19 pandemic is looming over Africa like a time bomb. It's likely to impose heavy human, financial, economic, and social costs on the continent.
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Africa, with its underfunded healthcare and a population disproportionately affected by HIV, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, is a time bomb just waiting to explode as a sudden surge in number of COVID-19 infections could overwhelm the continent's weak healthcare systems and the pandemic would be almost impossible to contain. While some scientists think the high temperatures in many African countries may make life harder for the coronavirus, whether COVID-19 will turn out to be a seasonal disease and spare the continent is still very much an open question. "We really have no idea how COVID-19 will behave in Africa," says pediatrician and HIV researcher Glenda Gray, president of the South African Medical Research Council. Last month, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, said his "biggest concern" was COVID-19 spreading in countries with weak health systems. Unless major steps are taken, the number of COVID-19 related cases could exceed what the world is witnessing right now. With no financial support to provide healthcare workers with proper personal protective equipment, the virus could spread on the continent like wildfire. The WHO and the international community should invest in all countries needing help, from the US to Africa to anywhere else, because to do otherwise would allow this infection to continue its virulent march around the world and still threaten wealthier nations. We are all on this planet together. You may not be able to wall off diseases like COVID-19 and Ebola, but you also cannot wall off the common bonds of humanity that all of us share. If we are to get through this pandemic, we will get through it together, by providing support to the more impoverished parts of the world.

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