Is a ‘Silent Pandemic’ Sweeping Across Africa?

Officially, Africa now has over half a million COVID-19 cases—but yawning gaps in testing mean that number is far from reliable, warns WHO Africa chief Matshidiso Moeti, the AP reports.
 
For context: Latin America, with roughly half the population of Africa, has recorded 2.9 million cases, Reuters reports.
 
Africa’s relatively low case count paints a deceiving picture of COVID-19’s likely toll—but without reliable numbers, it’s near-impossible to plan a vigorous response and gather donor funds.
 
The lack of data also makes it harder to justify “the economic pain that shutting down countries causes,” says Amanda McClelland of the US-based health policy initiative Resolve to Save Lives. 
 
On top of massive testing shortages, some governments suppress information about the virus. Tanzanian officials have blown off WHO meetings and haven’t published coronavirus data since early May—frustrating more stringent neighbors across porous borders.

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