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Covid-19: No large hidden outbreak in Africa but health worker shortage worsens

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 03 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2685

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  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

The World Health Organization does not believe that Africa harbours large numbers of undetected covid-19 infections, said its regional director Matshidiso Moeti, although “there is underestimation of cases.”

African countries had reported 434 442 cases and 10 662 deaths from covid-19 on 3 July, with 209 616 patients having recovered. Only about 4% of the world’s cases and 2% of global deaths from covid-19 have been recorded on the continent, following a strong early public health response from many African governments.

But cases have been spiking faster lately, particularly in South Africa, where the lockdown was strict and early but where international travellers arrive in greater numbers than other African countries.

Africa’s low …

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