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South America has change into new COVID-19 epicenter, WHO says – Business Insider

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  • THe World Health Organization introduced Friday that South America has change into a brand new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Brazil has taken a tough hit from the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory sickness referred to as COVID-19, and authorities have accredited using hydroxychloroquine — an anti-malarial drug — as a therapy, regardless of lack of ample proof that it really works.
  • Meanwhile, the WHO mentioned some African nations are seeing an uptick in coronavirus instances, however the loss of life toll has remained comparatively low.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

GENEVA (Reuters) – South America has change into a brand new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with Brazil hardest-hit, whereas instances are rising in some African nations that to this point have a comparatively low loss of life toll, the World Health Organization (WHO) mentioned on Friday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic today reached a milestone in Africa, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases. The virus has now spread to every country in the continent since the first case was confirmed in the region 14 weeks ago,” the WHO mentioned in a press release, noting there have been 3,100 confirmed deaths on the huge continent.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, who’s from Botswana, mentioned: “For now COVID-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world.”

Even so, she mentioned, “We must not be lulled into complacency as our health systems are fragile and are less able to cope with a sudden increase in cases.”

About half of African nations are experiencing neighborhood transmission of the virus, the WHO mentioned.

The state of affairs in South America appeared graver. Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s prime emergencies skilled, talking earlier to a information convention, mentioned: “In a sense South America has become a new epicenter for the disease.”

Brazil is the “most affected,” and authorities there have accredited broad use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for therapy of COVID-19, he mentioned. He reiterated that medical proof doesn’t help the drug’s widespread use towards the illness, given its dangers.

Nine African nations had 50% rises in instances prior to now week, whereas others have seen a decline or have secure charges, Ryan mentioned.

The low mortality fee could also be as a result of half the continent’s inhabitants is 18 or youthful, he mentioned, whereas saying he stays fearful the illness will unfold on a continent with “significant gaps” in intensive care companies, medical oxygen and air flow.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and John Miller in Zurich; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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