Saturday 12 December 2020

Africa is not a safe haven from Covid

Lots of people I speak to are talking about going to Africa for a few weeks to avoid Covid and the winter. 

It is, unfortunately, not true that Africa is escaping the virus. In Tanzania, which is on the way to becoming a dictatorship, all news of infections and deaths with the virus is suppressed by the government. People are buried in secret. As for Sudan, which I had been very tempted to explore, researchers at University College, London research have found that only 2% of Covid deaths in Khartoum were reported.

The pandemic is not as bad in Africa as in Europe, probably because Africans tend to die of other causes before they are old enough to die of Covid, but the African hospitals are no doubt worse than Romanian ones.

I say this without really knowing how bad Covid is in any country. Lots of people are dying, including a friend of mine, but lots of people die each year of flu. The data is very unclear even to experts and we are probably exaggerating the danger, but Covid-19 is highly infectious and dangerous. Five people in one family died in one month in Turkey, all but one aged less than 50, though this is very untypical. Best therefore to avoid holidays in Africa.

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