News Alert: Africa’s COVID-19 Cases Surpass 500k

COVID-19 cases in Africa have seen a steep rise in recent weeks, while at the same time, economic pressure is increasing leaving governments facing the need to restore economic activities while responsibly managing the COVID-19 response. 
 
It took 98 days for Africa to reach an initial 100,000 cases and only 19 days to move to 200,000 cases. Cases doubled again to 400,000 over the next 20 days. 
 
Mercy Corps’ Regional Director for Africa, Sean Granville-Ross says: 
 
“While a widespread transmission has so far spared Africa, the recent trajectory of COVID-19 cases observed in the last couple of weeks across several African countries suggests that the pandemic is far from over.  We are still at a point where it’s hard to predict how the pandemic will unfold, but one thing is clear, with more than half a million cases, the worst is yet to come.
 
As the continent begins to relax restrictions on trade, travel and other containment measures, the biggest challenge ahead will be how to balance lives and livelihoods. Economic factors have to balance with health concerns —a tall order on a continent that is already grappling with the impacts of ongoing conflict, weak health systems and governance, desert locust outbreak and the climate crisis.
 
Among all the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings, access to food and incomes remain the biggest concerns. Coordinated efforts in ensuring we are prioritizing economic recovery while working with communities to mitigate widespread community transmission, particularly in the most vulnerable environs, will be critical.”