WHO: Coronavirus crisis not ending anytime soon

Written By: Margaret Kalekye/Agencies
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The United States is the hardest-hit country

The World Health Organization has warned that the global coronavirus crisis will not end any time soon with many countries still in the early stages of the fight.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 180,000 people and infected more than 2.6 million, and nations are struggling to check its spread with social distancing measures and lockdowns, while trying to repair their virus-ravaged economies.

With countries starting to slowly ease restrictions as pressure mounts on governments to find ways to reopen their societies after tens of millions of jobs were wiped out.

But World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has cautioned that the struggle is far from over.

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“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time,” he said.”Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics. And some that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases.”

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The comments came after the director of the US Centers for Disease Control asked Americans to prepare for a second, possibly more devastating, wave of coronavirus infections.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said. “We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time.”

The United States is the hardest-hit country on the planet, with more than 46,500 coronavirus deaths and nearly 840,000 infections.

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Researchers have now revealed that the first COVID-19 fatalities in the country happened weeks earlier than previously thought — meaning the current US tally is likely far short of reality.

Africa

There are now more than over 25,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.

According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when. The whole of Africa has rising cases with only two countries holding out as of April 23.

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In Kenya, 303 cases have so far been confirmed since the first case was reported on March 13.

The National Command Centre on Enforcement of public health measures rolled out in the counties of Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa has been urged to review the performance of measures already in place with a view to introduce more stringent measures.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that it is currently conducting targeted testing based on community, hospital and population-based surveillance with a plan to conduct 250,000 tests by June 2020

 Major African stats as of April 23 as of 6:00 GMT:

  • Confirmed cases = 25,940
  • Number of deaths = 1,240
  • Recoveries = 6,968
  • Infected countries = 52
  • Virus-free countries = 2 (Lesotho, Comoros)
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