Covid-19 trends show Africans resisting the virus

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From AKANI CHAUKE (Johannesburg), OKORO CHINEDU (Lagos) and MARIA MACHARIA
(Nairobi)

IT remains a mystery why indigenous
Africans have resisted contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the
continent.

Most cases of the virus point to a majority of the careers being from
outside Africa and at the time of publication, there was no scientific
evidence to back the trends.

In the cases confirmed in the continent, mainly in South Africa,
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo
and Tunisia, only a minority of the individuals are indigenous citizens.

"The majority of the people infected with Covid-19 in Africa are not of
African origin,” a health expert, who refused to be identified, told CAJ
News Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday.

“They are Africans because majority of them acquired African citizenship
or permanent residence owing to colonial past background. Very few (less
than 0,2 percent) of those that infected cases are the actual persons of
African lineage . As a professional, it will be unethical to stereotype
diseases but records on the ground show otherwise."

A Kenya medical expert, who also requested anonymity, said, “The fact on
the ground is that less than 0,2 percent of cases to date are not people
of African origin.”

A Nigeria human rights activist in the commercial capital, Lagos,
accused the West of double standards and stereotyping during previous
outbreaks.

“If this disease was Ebola, cholera, tuberculosis or human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the Western media would have gone
overdrive slamming it as an African disease. Now that the disease has
hit hard on non-Africans, we are just being told it affected 'people'.
There is institutionised stereotyping of diseases,” he said.

“If this disease had taken a huge toll of blacks, believe me, the entire
world would have been stereotyping the pandemic linking it with
Africans. Now that the unthinkable has happened in the so-called
developed world, we are now being told not to stereotype the pandemic.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had still not ascertained why there
were fewer cases in the continent despite Africa’s fragile health
systems.

“Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for Covid-19 to
spread in countries with weaker health systems,” Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus, the head of the WHO, speaking to African Union (AU) health
ministers gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa sometime in
February.

As to why the Covid-19 was not more extensive or prevalent in the
African, Professor Thumbi Ndung’u from the African Institute for Health
Research in Durban, South Africa said: "Surely, nobody knows. Perhaps
there is simply not that much travel between Africa and China."

– CAJ News

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