Bill Gates warns the coronavirus could hit Africa worse than China

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Source : Business Insider

  • Bill Gates has warned of the “very dramatic” potential impact of the coronavirus on the African continent, according to a report in The Telegraph.
  • Gates said many African healthcare systems could get overwhelmed if the virus spreads there.

In a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Bill Gates reportedly warned that the coronavirus could overwhelm health systems on the African continent.

“This disease, if it’s in Africa … it’s more dramatic than if it’s in China, even though I’m not trying to minimize what’s going on in China in any way,” Gates said, according to a report by The Telegraph. “Will this get into Africa or not and if so, will those health systems be overwhelmed?”

Gates said the potential impact in sub-Saharan Africa could be “very, very dramatic.”

He added that the coronavirus could evolve into a pandemic.

In one sense, Gates said, the virus is more concerning than Ebola, since it spreads far faster. The fatality rate of the new coronavirus, which appears to be around 2% is far lower than Ebola’s, however.  “If you look at Ebola, most of the excess deaths were caused because the health service shut down,” Gates said. “It’s not just the direct effect, it’s also the panic, the overload, and the things that affect health workers because you’re already at very limited capacity.”

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