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Africa Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus: Over 300,000 Africans may die if …, ECA report warns

To date, over 17,000 people in Africa have been infected and nearly 1000 lives have been lost to the pandemic.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has warned that over 300,000 Africans could lose their lives Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to the continent’s struggling economies.

The commission noted this in its report that without adequate protection, hundreds of Africans could lose their lives to the deadly virus.

The report, titled, COVID-19: Protecting African Lives and Economies will be launched virtually on Friday.

According to the report, Africa’s fragile health systems could see additional costs being imposed on them.

To date, over 17,000 people in Africa have been infected and nearly 1000 lives have been lost to the pandemic.

The report further states that the economic growth rate of the continent is expected to slow down from 3.2 percent to 1.8 percent in a best-case scenario, pushing close to 27 million people into extreme poverty.

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In a statement, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, said $100 billion is needed to help counties address their needs.

“To protect and build towards the Continent’s shared prosperity, $100 billion is needed to urgently and immediately provide fiscal space to all countries to help address the immediate safety net needs of the populations,” she said

The report said 56 percent of its urban population is concentrated in slums or informal dwellings and only 34 percent of African households have access to basic handwashing facilities.

“The economic costs of the Pandemic have been harsher than the direct impact of the COVID-19. Across the continent, all economies are suffering from the sudden shock to the economies. The physical distancing needed to manage the pandemic is suffocating and drowning economic activity,” she added

According to the report, Africa’s small and medium enterprises risk complete closure if there is no immediate support.

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