The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Africa could become the next COVID-19 hotspot.
Officials with the United Nations predicted that the pandemic could kill 300,000 people across the continent and push nearly 30 million into poverty. Africa has over the past week recorded a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, though overall deaths and cases remain lower than in Europe and parts of the United States.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa encouraged a US$100 billion safety net for the continent, including halting external debt payments. The WHO said the coronavirus has so far avoided major population centers in Africa, but the continent has a dearth of ventilators and poor access to safe water supplies for many people.
North Africa is the hardest-hit region in the continent, but South Africa has also recorded a significant number of cases.