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Africa’s COVID-19 — Pandemic May Be Much Deadly Than You Think-National

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Studies of cases and deaths of COVID-19 in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, suggest only 2-5 percent of the total. Coronavirus Death has been officially reported.

As of November 20, 477 people had died in Khartoum, according to a report led by the Imperial College London (ICL) COVID-19 Response Team. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears..

The true number is estimated to be 14,300 to 17,990 higher than that.

Report We also estimate that 38 percent of Khartoum’s population has been infected.

Dr. Oliver Watson, an ICL infectious disease modeler and one of the authors of the report, is a scientist because deaths are not always registered correctly and death data is not always collected accurately. States that it cannot analyze mortality in developing countries as it does in developed countries.

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“The data we use to estimate death reports are two studies conducted within Khartoum. The first is a study distributed on social media that gives individuals previous symptoms, We asked if they had been tested for COVID-19 and the results of that test, “said Watson.

“But because it is a voluntary enrollment in the survey, it is likely to select infected individuals and may overestimate the number of infections.”

Watson says that is why the estimated levels of reported COVID-19 and actual COVID-19 deaths range from 2 to 5 percent.

The second data source was a 1,135 COVID-19 test study conducted in Khartoum from May 22 to July 5 through the Sudan Field Epidemiology Training Program.


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“These are two very different types of data collection, collected at two very different locations at two different times of the year,” says Watson.

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“But both suggest the same level of mortality detection.”

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Vital differences

Case fatality rate (deaths per case) is much lower than in Canada or Europe.

Most experts agree that demographics and other illnesses also play a role.

Children who do not comply with the ban can be seen biking on empty streets after a three-week blockade began on April 18, 2020 in Khartoum, Sudan, as part of a coronavirus prevention measure. ..  (Photo by Omer Eldem / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Children who do not comply with the ban can be seen biking on empty streets after a three-week blockade began on April 18, 2020 in Khartoum, Sudan, as part of a coronavirus prevention measure. .. (Photo by Omer Eldem / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).

Dr. Mary Stephen works with the emergency preparedness and response team at the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.

“Our population is young and the number of people with comorbidities is relatively small if we want to compare it to Europe and the United States,” Stephen said.

“The two most important factors (affecting death from COVID-19) are age and the presence of comorbidities.”

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Stephen says the combination of young demographics and limited testing resources means that authorities have a poor idea of ​​how the disease is spreading.

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“Most of our cases are moderate to mild and most are asymptomatic,” said Stephen.

“Therefore, if you are in a country where your testing strategy limits testing to people with symptoms, contacts of people identified with COVID, and perhaps those arriving from places with high infection rates, you should miss this testing strategy Means to be an asymptomatic person. “

When explaining these factors, Watson believes that COVID-19 can actually be as deadly in Khartoum as in Ottawa and Paris.

“The case fatality rate over age seems to be similar to the case fatality rate found in other hospitals around the world,” Watson said.


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“But what really potentially drives the difference is that the mortality ratio between places like Khartoum and the most burdensome” top “countries is actually the age group, It can be a much younger population. The number of deaths observed is significantly reduced. “

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One factor that may be helping African countries is the list of lessons learned from other epidemics like Ebola. The virus has killed more than 2,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2018 and more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.

“First of all, countries have experience and structure on how to engage communities, and most countries are trying to leverage these existing structures to provide this communication and community involvement service.” Stephen says.

“The issue of’keeping away, staying away, washing hands’was not that difficult, so the community was able to understand and adjust for the effects of Ebola.”

Secondary effects of COVID-19

On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, a funeral home worker in protective clothing disinfected a casket carrying a woman who died in COVID-19 while preparing for a funeral in Katlehong, near Johannesburg, South Africa. I will.  (APPhoto / Themba Hadebe)

On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, a funeral home worker in protective clothing disinfected a casket carrying a woman who died in COVID-19 while preparing for a funeral in Katlehong, near Johannesburg, South Africa. I will. (APPhoto / Themba Hadebe)

On Monday, WHO reminded the world that Africa has faced even greater challenges over the years.

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Last year, more than 409,000 people, most of whom were infants in the poorest regions of Africa, died of the disease, according to its global malaria report.

WHO said COVID-19 will almost certainly make things worse in 2020.

“Our estimate is that depending on the level of service interruption (according to COVID-19) … In sub-Saharan Africa, 20,000 to 100,000 malaria deaths can be excessive, which Most are toddlers, “Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO malaria program, told reporters.

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“Excessive malaria mortality is very likely to be greater than direct COVID mortality.”

Stephen told Global News that the impact would be felt far beyond the fight against malaria.

“Prenatal care, childcare issues, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV / AIDS, chronic non-communicable diseases, hypertension, diabetes,” she said.

“The continuity of these services has been affected in many ways, including those who were partially blocked and unable to move. Another reason is logistics, accessibility issues due to border closures.”

According to the WHO report, there were 229 million malaria cases worldwide in 2019.


© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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