UN Secretary-General António Guterres has praised Africa’s “swift” response to the coronavirus pandemic, with reported cases much lower than initially feared.
He said in a statement:
“Most [African countries] have moved rapidly to deepen regional coordination, deploy health workers, and enforce quarantines, lockdowns and border closures.”
They are also drawing on the experience of HIV/AIDS and Ebola to debunk rumours and overcome mistrust of government, security forces and health workers.”
AFP news agency reports him telling RFL radio in France that the developed world could learn from Africa’s response.
“Most African governments and organisations took in time very brave prevention measures which provide a lesson for some developed nations that did not,” he is quoted as saying.
However, he warned in his statement that it still may be early days for the pandemic in Africa and recommended international help to strengthen Africa’s health systems, food supplies and to avoid a financial crisis.
The continent has so far confirmed 88,855 coronavirus cases, including 2,848 deaths.
The number of fatalities has been relatively low compared to about 323,000 deaths worldwide.