Africa is watching a potential health disaster turn into an economic crisis much more quickly

There is now almost universal agreement among economists, think tanks and policy makers the global economy is heading into a recession due in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. Nowhere is that more clear than in Africa.

The focus has naturally been on the potential health disaster looming for African countries where some of the inexpensive preventive measures prescribed for developed countries such as social distancing are costly and difficult to enforce for people in an informal economy. Many African countries also have the additional concern with have inadequate health systems getting easily overrun in the event of a widespread viral outbreak.

Compared to Europe, the coronavirus case numbers remain relatively low with over 4,000 cases in 46 African countries  but they’re spreading quickly and as seen in several African countries now, there are real worries, that the low case numbers might reflect the low testing capacity.

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