Kenyan health workers dressed in protective suits walk after disinfecting the residence where Kenya's first confirmed coronavirus patient was staying, in the town of Rongai near Nairobi, Kenya March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
WASHINGTON, April 17 (MENA) - A new report from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says that the continent of around 1.3 billion people could see as many as 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the best-case scenario.
It says in the worst-case scenario, where there is no intervention against the outbreak, as many as 3.3 million people could die, with 1.2 billion — the vast majority of Africa's population — contracting the disease, The Hill reported.
Even with “intense social distancing," according to the report, Africa could still see 122 million cases of the virus that has killed over 146,000 people worldwide.
UNECA estimates that anywhere from $44 billion to $446 billion will be needed for testing in the continent that is home to many underfunded health systems.
The UN report also states, “Of all the continents Africa has the highest prevalence of certain underlying conditions, like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.”
People with underlying conditions are particularly susceptible to fatal complications from the virus, along with the other at-risk demographic: the elderly.
The report also warns that widespread economic failure could occur in Africa, with the worst-case scenario reportedly contracting the continent's growth by 2.6 percent, while pushing an estimated 27 million people extreme poverty.