The raging state of the Covid-19 pandemic is India is a wake-up call for Africa that its governments and citizens must not let their guards down, the AU’s disease control agency warned on Thursday.
African nations generally do not have sufficient numbers of healthcare workers, hospital beds, oxygen supplies, and the continent of 1.3 billion would be even more overwhelmed than India if cases surged in a similar way, said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are watching with total disbelief … What is happening in India cannot be ignored by our continent,” he told reporters.
Nkengasong urged Africans to wear masks and avoid large gatherings, warning: “We cannot and should not find ourselves in (India’s) scenario because of the very fragile nature of our health systems.”
The AU will convene a meeting with all African ministers of health on May 8, Nkengasong said, to “put everybody on alert”.
India, with 1.35 billion people, has a similar population size to the African continent, yet Africa has even weaker health systems, and unlike India does not manufacture significant quantities of drugs or vaccines, he added. (TimesLive)