A United Nations (UN) agency estimates that the Covid-19 pandemic could kill at least 300,000 people in Africa.
UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on Friday also said the pandemic could push 29 million other Africans into abject poverty and called for a $100 billion safety net for the continent.
So far, the 54 African countries have confirmed a combined 20,036 cases of Covid-19 with Egypt leading in the number of infections with (2,844), followed by South Africa (2,783), Morocco (2,670), Algeria (2,418) and Cameroon (1,017).
On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of infections in Africa could hit 10 million in three to six months.
“To protect and build towards our shared prosperity at least $100 billion is needed to immediately resource a health and social safety net response,” the UNECA report stated.
UNECA said if certain interventions are not made, over 1.2 billion Africans would be infected with Covid-19 and 3.3 million would die this year. Africa’s total population is about 1.3 billion.
“We estimate that between 5 million and 29 million people will be pushed below the extreme poverty line of $1.90 per day owing to the impact of COVID-19,” the report said.
For instance, UNECA said Nigeria alone will lose between $14 billion and $19.2 billion in revenues from oil exports this year.