Tropical Medicine and Health (Apr 2020)

Is Sub-Saharan Africa prepared for COVID-19?

  • Edwin Nuwagira,
  • Conrad Muzoora

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 48, no. 1
pp. 1 – 3


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Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is the latest virus to cause global health panic. Due to the rapidly escalating numbers of new infections outside China, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, in a message delivered by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General [1]. As of March 21, about 166 countries globally had recoded cases of the COVID-19 in only 4 months since its outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China [2, 3]. With the Antarctic continent unaffected, Africa, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has recorded the least number of cases, despite the cited moderate-to-high risk of infection [4]. The biggest challenge is whether Sub-Saharan Africa is ready for this pandemic.