This Nature Medicine Comment argues that Africa is well-equipped to prevent the continent from becoming the next COVID-19 hot spot. Crystal Wiley Cené, MD, MPH, associate professor in the division of general medicine and epidemiology, is a co-author of the article.
A new article, published June 11 in Nature Medicine, argues that Africa is well-equipped to prevent the continent from becoming the next COVID-19 hot spot if its countries are able to apply fast and thorough contact tracing and monitoring, and ensure quarantine for potentially infectious contacts.
Crystal Wiley Cené, MD, MPH, associate professor in the division of general medicine and epidemiology, is a co-author of the comment.
For the article, the authors compiled information from World Health Organization data to provide an overview of expected numbers of deaths from COVID-19 in the 18 countries of the African Research Network, in addition to Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, compared with those in France, Italy, Germany, the USA, Singapore and South Korea.
They found that most of the African countries, except for Algeria and Egypt, had not reached the critical inflection point, after which cases and deaths grow exponentially. This is explained in part by effective lockdown measures that were implemented in several of these countries. However, close monitoring is still needed to prevent a potential future surge in COVID-19 cases, the authors argue.
“In conclusion, there is reason for hope in Africa’s response to COVID-19. The pessimistic outlook and prediction of the pandemic in Africa can—and should—be prevented. To this end, African countries should keep implementing rapid action and remain vigilant in the upcoming weeks,” the article concludes.