Coronavirus update today: WHO warns 190,000 may die in Africa; Trump rejects CDC guidance
Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would be tested for coronavirus daily after the US President’s personal valet tested positive for COVID-19.
Up to 190,000 people in Africa could die of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic if containment measures fail, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. The WHO gave the warning after conducting a study based on prediction modelling and analysing 47 countries in the region.
The agency predicted that between 29 million to 44 million Africans could be infected in the first year. As many as 5.5 million of these people could require hospital treatment, a number that would overwhelm the medical capacity of most places on the continent.
“While COVID-19 likely won’t spread as exponentially in Africa as it has elsewhere in the world, it likely will smoulder in transmission hotspots,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said in a statement.
“COVID-19 could become a fixture in our lives for the next several years unless a proactive approach is taken by many governments in the region. We need to test, trace, isolate and treat.”
The survey done in March of health services in Africa found an average of nine intensive care unit beds per 1 million people in 47 African countries.
“These would be woefully inadequate,” the WHO said.
Globally, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 269,000 people and infected more than 3.8 million people, according to Johns Hopkins University tally.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REJECTS CDC GUIDELINE
A 17-page draft recommendation for reopening America by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been shelved by the White House, CNN reported. The document includes step-by-step guidance on how and when local authorities should allow businesses to reopen and life to resume as normal.
The guidance by CDC also provided more detailed suggestions beyond the reopening guidelines the Donald Trump administration had put forth last month, including specific suggestions for schools and churches.
President Donald Trump in recent days has emphasized the need to quickly reopen the American economy despite public health officials' urgings for a more cautious approach.
A senior CDC official told CNN that it was clear on Wednesday that the White House was not going to implement their draft recommendation for reopening America -- after it asked for it.
"We are used to dealing with a White House that asks for things and then chaos ensues. A team of people at the CDC spent innumerable hours in response to an ask from Debbie Birx," said the source cited by CNN.
"The 17-page report represents an ask from the White House Task Force to come up with these recommendations. That's our role. To put together this guidance."
TRUMP, US V-P TO UNDERGO CORONAVIRUS TEST DAILY
Meanwhile, Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence have tested negative for coronavirus after finding out that a member of the US military who worked on the White House campus had become infected, a White House spokesman said.
The military official was personal valet to the US President. The latter said he had a very little contact with him.
"I have had very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman. I know who he is. Good person. But I have had very little contact. (Vice President) Mike (Pence) has had very little contact with him. But Mike was tested and I was tested. We were both tested," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House.
Responding to questions, Trump said he, Pence and other staff of the White House would be tested for coronavirus every day.
"I just had a test. In fact, I had one yesterday and one today, and it is negative. Mike just had a test and it is negative," he said.
"But they do the tests and it just shows you that the fallacy -- it is what I have been saying -- testing is not a perfect art. No matter what you do, testing is not a perfect art. So we test once a week. Now we are going to go testing once a day. But even when you test once a day, somebody could -- something happens where they catch something," the President said.