American billionaire businessman cum philanthropist, Bill Gates, has wondered why COVID-19 cases have not been as high as predicted in the world’s poorest continent, Africa.
According to him, the world still does not have enough data to understand why COVID-19 numbers have not been high in Africa.
The tech guru who is a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and who invests heavily in healthcare in Africa said he is, however, happy to have been wrong about COVID-19 rates in Africa.
Recall that Bill Gates had warned early 2020 that Africa could be the worse hit by COVID-19, stating at a conference that the virus would overwhelm health systems in the world’s poorest continent. But this has not been the case and the world does not understand why.
In his words, “We don’t have enough data yet to understand why the numbers aren’t as high as I worried they would get. It helped that some countries locked down early. In Africa, another reason may be that the population is young compared with the rest of the world’s, and young people are less susceptible to the virus.
“Why does it rank so low in Africa? It’s not just the relatively low incidence of COVID-19 there. It’s also because shifting health workers to focus on the coronavirus disrupted efforts to detect and treat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases. As a result, COVID-19 stayed low on the list of health threats, but other problems came roaring back”.