The Director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says despite the slow spread of the coronavirus in Africa, Africans should not be complacent with the fatality rate.

Dr John Nkengasong said the number of recorded deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus is steadily rising following a sharp increase in the number of deaths by almost 30%.

“It has been a delayed pandemic and now we are gaining speed,” he said in a virtual public engagement meeting organised by Ecobank Ghana.

He highlighted a few key points that could be contributing to the slow spread of the virus in Africa.

They included the continent’s young population and largely rural settlements.

“Having said that certain things could possibly be working for us, that is the young population we have, it could be possible that that could be our clear advantage, and also the distances that we have to cover besides the capital cities when you go to remote areas where most of our people live that also could be preventing the spread of the virus,” Dr John Nkengasong said.

However, he cautioned that despite the clear advantage the continent is benefitting from, other factors could also equally contribute a spike in coronavirus related deaths.

“We have to know that there are other forces that are playing against us and could play against us, those include endemic diseases that we have for example the tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and malnutrition will play against us. And also the rising number of non-communicable diseases will also play against us.”

He further stated that in order to get a clear picture of the African situation, data would have to be collected and analysed before drawing conclusions.

“Again we are very early in phase two of our pandemic and we’ll have to analyse our data in a more conscious way and deliberate way before we make a bold statement whether as to our fatality is worse than in the West or not.”

The public engagement organised by Ecobank Ghana was to provide information on Covid-19 and how it affects personal finances.