The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has told Africa to prepare for the worst as it is likely there are more coronavirus cases in the continent than reported.
The Ethiopian-born health officer said this while speaking on Wednesday March 18, at the WHO’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed the need for mass gatherings to be avoided because of the propensity of aiding quick spread of the virus.
“You know as of today (March 18), the number of cases reported from sub-Saharan Africa are 233 cases and four deaths, that is actually in terms of confirmed cases, it is the lowest region.
“But as Mike said, we cannot take this number as the amount of, or the number of cases we have in Africa, probably we have undetected cases or unreported cases. But in addition to that, even if we take this 233 cases as true, we have to prepare for the worst.
“In other countries we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point. So the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today. It is actually better if these numbers are really true, to cut it from the bud.
“And that is why we are saying we have to do the testing, we have to do the contact tracing, we have to do the isolation and cut it from the bud.
“I think Africa should wake up, I think my continent should wake up.”
Africa currently has 633 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 33 countries across the continent.
17 deaths has also been reported in the continent since the outbreak of the flu-like virus.