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From left : Presidents Andry Rajoelina(Madagascar), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame(Rwanda) & Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana).

Capital Health

The puzzle of low COVID-19 fatality rates and high recoveries in Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7- One thing philanthropists and health experts from the West were certain is that once coronavirus gets to Africa- a continent rich with resources but poor in infrastructure- it will be a disaster.

Some cited high probable fatality figures, but has Africa defied the naysayers?

The pandemic has so far claimed slightly over 1,800 lives across 56 African countries, with the fatality level across the world hitting 257,000 by May 7. The US has the highest fatalities of 72,023.

One thing that remains a marvel is how some African countries, vulnerable by all standards, have managed the pandemic- and have so far recorded no deaths or single digits.

Capital News has compiled the statistics of the African countries conquering the menace-in defiance of opinions by scientists and experts from the developed countries who predicted a disaster for the continent.

The data is provided by the Worldometer COVID-19 Data- a platform that analyzes, validates, and aggregates data from thousands of sources in real-time and provides global COVID-19 live statistics for a wide audience across the world.

Top in the list is Rwanda, an East African country with a population of 12.9 million, where there are no cases of deaths.

Rwanda had recorded 268 cases of coronavirus and 130 recoveries by May 7.

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Under President Paul Kagame, the nation has partially lifted its lockdown that restricted people’s movement except for essential services.

“Hotels and restaurants will operate but close by 7pm. Individual sporting activity in open spaces is permitted, however, sports facilities shall remain closed. Public and private transport will resume in the same province. Bus operators will ensure passengers maintain social distancing and only passengers with masks will be allowed on board,” the Rwandan government said on May 1.

Rwanda has also been feeding its vulnerable communities across the country.

In Uganda 100 positive cases and 55 recoveries have been recorded with no death.

President Yoweri Museveni was swift to impose a lockdown among a series of stringent measures meant to curb the spread of the disease.

In Namibia, a country in the South West of Africa, there are 16 cases of COVID-19, with half of them recovered. No deaths have been reported.

A partial lockdown imposed by President Hage Geingob lapsed on May 4 after weeks of no new infections.

The country, with a population of 2.3 million, less than the 5 million people in Nairobi, has started opening its economy gradually.

Then there is Madagascar- which has recorded at least 151 coronavirus cases with 101 recoveries.

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Madagascar has also received global attention after President Andry Rajoelina launched a herbal medicine which, he said, has a capacity to heal the disease.

“This herbal tea gives results in 7 days,” the President, who also took his share told journalists during a press briefing in April.

He then dispatched soldiers to undertake a door to door operation in the Indian ocean Island country, dispensing the medicine.

The World Health Organisation has warned Africans against using “untested” remedies for COVID-19.

“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO said in a statement on Monday.

Gambia has 17 cases of COVID-19, 9 recoveries and 1 fatality while Zimbwabwe has 34 cases , five recoveries and four deaths.

Various countries across the world are racing to come up with a vaccine for COVID-19, with WHO calling for coordination.

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