Some African countries heading for coronavirus peak in weeks: WHO

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FILE PHOTO: A health worker checks a man's temperature during a door-to-door testing in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Umlazi township near Durban, South Africa, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A health worker checks a man’s temperature during a door-to-door testing in an attempt to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Umlazi township near Durban, South Africa, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/File Photo

Some African countries could see a peak in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and testing should be urgently increased in the region, World Health Organization officials said on Thursday.

Although Africa accounts for a fraction of global cases of the disease, its countries are feeling the economic impact. In a report published on Thursday, the World Bank said the outbreak is expected to push sub-Saharan Africa into recession in 2020 for the first time in 25 years.

The bank’s Africa’s Pulse report said the region’s economy will contract 2.1%-5.1% from growth of 2.4% last year, and that the new coronavirus will cost sub-Saharan Africa $37 billion to $79 billion in output losses this year due to trade and value chain disruption, among other factors.

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