Melinda Gates, wife of Tech-billionaire Bill Gates has warned that if the world does not act fast enough, then there will be dead bodies all over the streets of Africa.
Melinda raised these concerns while speaking to CNN, about the novel coronavirus and its notorious effects in the third world countries.
Of those infected, it is estimated that around 1% will die from infection. The virus so far is known to cause pneumonia, an infection of the lungs which produces pus and fluid and reduces the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen.
She said that her heart is in Africa, reiterating the fact that she is worried that the continent might not be able to handle the devastating effect of virus. According to Mrs. Gates Africa lacks well established universal health systems and that the health Care System will groan under coronavirus pandemic.
Gates’ wife says the lack of enough testing kits in Africa is the reason why the continent’s Corona Virus infected numbers are low but soon Africa will have bodies out in the streets.
“Its going to be horrible in the developing world. Part of the reasons you are seeing the case numbers still do not look very bad, is because they don’t have access to many tests. She said
Covid19 testing is performed on a blood sample in specialized laboratories. Currently, testing can be done in 16 laboratories only in Africa including in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia. Soon, more laboratories in Africa will be able to test for the virus including in South Sudan, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.
According to Melinda Gates, who was speaking to CNN, the virus will still hit Africa hard.
“Look at what is happening in Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the streets, you are going to see that in countries in Africa,” Mrs Gates noted.
The billionaire’s wife warned that Covid19 will be horrible in Africa which is part of the developing world. Her concerns were rooted in the fact of conviction that her heart is in Africa
“Covid-19 will be horrible in the developing world,” she said.
“My heart is in Africa. I’m worried.
“I saw what China had to do to isolate enormous part of its population. My first thought was Africa. How in the world are they going to deal with this.” She said
Current confirmed cases and deaths are still relatively low in Africa. The Novel Corona Virus has so far killed 469 people in Africa, infected over 9,000 people while 1,867 have recovered.
A report from AMREF records Fourteen (14) percent of confirmed cases are severe, with serious pneumonia and shortness of breath. Another 5% of patients develop respiratory failure and critical illness. About 2.3% of confirmed cases have resulted in death.
Therefore, the vast majority of confirmed cases have mild infection, with cold-like symptoms and mild pneumonia. It is not known why some people suffer more from the virus than others, but those who have developed serious illness tend to be those with underlying disease, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension or cancer.
Africa is four to six weeks behind Europe’s Covid19 outbreak which has devastated lives.
This comes at a time when World Health Organization (WHO) has been supporting African Governments since the start of the outbreak with early detection. WHO has been providing thousands of COVID-19 testing kits to countries, training dozens of health workers and strengthening surveillance in communities. Forty-seven countries in the WHO African region can now test for COVID-19. At the start of the outbreak only two could do so.
In Kenya, Kenyatta University has come up with its ventilator prototype that could save lives of victims of the coronavirus. The University team has a capability of making 50 Ventilators a week. Ventilators are key equipment for coronavirus patients who develop difficulty in breathing.
In addition a multi-agency protocol comprising the Ministry of East African Community, Ministry of Health, Kenya Revenue Authority, the National Police Service and Immigration, in Kenya has setup guidelines to curb Covid19 including enforcement of dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Mrs. Gates believes that there is an urgent need to scale up fight against CoronaVirus in Africa.
“I have been in townships all over Africa and slums. When we talk in country physical distancing and hand-washing, if you live in slums who can’t physical distance, you have to go out and get your meals. You don’t have clean water to wash your hands,” she added. I see dead bodies in the streets of Africa,” Melinda said.
But tweeps say she should keep her scientific data and words away from Africa.