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Coronavirus: Africa prepares to battle COVID-19, but with few weapons


<b>Coronavirus: Africa prepares to battle COVID-19, but with few weapons</b>In Mali, there is an estimated one ventilator per 1 million people – about 20 in all, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Infection, which serves 31 of Africa's 54 nations. The devices are critical in helping to prevent the respiratory failure that has contributed to a worldwide coronavirus death toll of more than 23,000. 
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Africa could be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The curve of coronavirus infections is starting to show a sharp upward trend. Data released on March 25 by the African Union suggest that the continent's infection trajectory over the first 50 days is similar to Europe's.  Most countries in Africa are not prepared and equiped to deal with such a dangerous and very contagious pandemic. With Ebola, African nations received help and support from the international community, but now, those donor countries are all too busy helping their own with overwhelmed health systems. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa is 3,721 in 46 countries. South Africa has the highest number of known infections with 1,170 cases, followed by Egypt with 495, Algeria 419, Morocco 275 , Tunisia 227, Burkina Faso 157, Ghana 136, Senegal 119, etc. These numbers could quickly go up and reach tens if not hundreds of thousands in the coming weeks. In a couple of weeks, cases in Europe have rapidly climbed to reach around 300,000 cases with nearly 17,000 deaths to date. Early March, Italy had only 3 cases. A week later, it had 231. Today, Italy has nearly 88,000 cases and almost 9,000 deaths, with no end in sight to the carnage. On March 27 alone, Italy recorded around 1,000 deaths. Let's hope that the spread does not accelerate too fast and the pandemic dies off soon because of the hot and humid climate and low population mobility on most of the African continent.

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