Africa Racing the Clock as COVID-19 Spreads On the Continent

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As Covid-19 infections in Africa passed the 6,000 mark and local transmissions started to pick up, optimism in continental and world health authorities is giving way to intense concern.

World and continental experts are racing against time to find ways to slow the internal spread of Covid-19 in Africa, where it's often difficult for people to physically distance themselves from others, and where soap and water aren't always readily available.

"I don't think anyone has a magic bullet," the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, John Nkengasong, said during a remote briefing yesterday (Thursday 2 April).

Infections in Africa stand at over 6,000 almost 40 days after the first case was reported on the continent. The number of infected people has doubled over the past seven days, and Covid-19 cases have been reported in more remote regions such as the easternmost regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which only recently saw its last Ebola patient cured. In Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal, the virus has started spreading outside capital cities and all of South Africa's nine provinces have reported cases.

"Social distancing is a proven method for controlling this kind of pandemic and outbreak, but the...

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