Over the last 24 hours, the death toll in Italy from the coronavirus has risen from 427 to 3,405 and the worldwide death toll now stands at over 10,000. Here are the latest updates on COVID-19.
Early on Friday morning, Al Jazeera reported on the sharp spike in deaths in Italy, who have now seen 150 more deaths from the virus than China, a country with a population roughly 20 times the size of Italy’s 60 million citizens. And, while things have gone from bad to worse in Italy, the city of Wuhan, from where the pandemic originated, recorded no new local cases, showing that the isolation measures are working. However, there are 34 new cases in the Hubei city, but all of them have reportedly come from abroad.
The total number of infection in Italy now stands at roughly 41,000. The reason for Italy’s high death rate are undoubtedly due to the age demographics of their population, with 87% of the patients that died being over the age of 70. Italy has the world’s oldest population. This confirms the assertion that it is the elderly that are at risk above everyone else. Neighbouring Spain is also in trouble and are the second-worst hit country in Europe, with a rise in the death toll that now stands at 767 and a total number of cases officially stated at 17,149. Germany and Iran’s number of cases now also exceed 15,000 and the US has more than 13,000 cases.
As for economic fears, Al Jazeera quotes António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who said that the world is “at war with a virus” and that “a global recession, perhaps of record dimensions, is a near certainty.”
The biggest fear
It can be argued that the outbreak’s disastrous effects in China, America and Europe will be nothing in comparison to what seems will inevitably happen in Africa.
“If we let the virus spread like wildfire – especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world – it would kill millions of people,” Guterres said.
The virus has now spread from just five infected countries in Africa a week ago to 35 out of the 54 nations on the continent today, according to the World Health Organisation.
Africa is a brand new frontier for the virus and is simply not equipped to handle a pandemic of this magnitude. Many nations, particularly those South of the Sahara, have medical infrastructure that are unable to deal with what are otherwise everyday healthcare challenges, such as Malaria, a disease that is all-but non-existent in the rest of the world.
The West African Ebola outbreak of 2014 is evidence of exactly how devastating a pandemic can be for African nations, with countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea taking more than two years to end the outbreak, costing more than 15,000, 10,000 and 3,800 deaths in each country respectively. It is also reported that roughly 70% of the Ebola cases went unreported.
This is a very scary time for the African continent, and the Essential Millennial, an African publication, stands in solidarity with our fellow Africans. We will continue to provide you with all of the latest updates, because, right now, the best we can do is spread information and awareness on the issue. Please share The Millennial’s Guide To Coronavirus to spread awareness about the details behind the virus and how to protect yourself against it, because prevention is the best weapon that we have in our hands right now.