March 25

This Virus Is Ravaging Rich Countries. What Happens When It Hits the Poor Ones?

By Nesrine Malik

Though Africa has fewer coronavirus cases and a slower rate of infection than the UK, many countries in the continent have passed dramatically more extreme measures to prevent its spread than Britain has. In my birth country of Sudan, after only one case and one death was registered, all schools and universities were shut down. Several other nations, such as Egypt, have taken the ultimate precaution and closed their airports.

There is no denial here, no mixed messaging, and no unfounded promise of how soon we will send the virus packing.

The tough and timely action is borne less out of political maturity than it is bitter experience, and an awareness that already overburdened public healthcare systems cannot sustain an onslaught. The ebola epidemic of 2014 is still fresh in the mind in sub-Saharan African countries; it was an experience that showed prevention and containment are the only hope of fending off thousands of deaths.

Photo courtesy of bobthemagicdragon.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

infectious diseases, public health