Africa could record 450,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases by the second week of May, putting the continent’s fragile health systems under severe test.
A team of scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine made the prediction based on a mathematical modelling projection, as the number of Covid-19 positive Africans more than doubled in one week to Friday’s figure of more than 6,500 cases.
There are currently 224 confirmed infections in Nigeria, with five deaths; 192 people are still sick and at least 30 have recovered. The scientists also project that each East African country will report at least 10,000 cases by May 10, with Uganda being the last to hit this number.
With 50 out of 56 African countries now reporting Covid-19 cases, the scientists say only strict interventions such as social distancing could make their forecasts wrong.
“We are only projecting reported cases, which are a fraction of actual cases. Ramping up testing, while better for the overall response and the ultimate number of actual cases, would mean seeing more cases sooner,” said Carl Pearson the principal investigator of a paper published on March 25.