In Somalia, there are fears COVID-19 is simply blending in as “yet another poorly diagnosed but deadly fever” as extremist groups make it hard to extend diagnostics and, eventually, vaccines to parts of the country, AP reports.
Testing and public acknowledgement of the virus are scant, and a lack of post-mortem investigations makes it impossible to grasp the true toll of the virus–in Somalia and much of Africa.
That dearth of vital statistics data is an issue across the continent, where all 54 countries combined have officially reported fewer deaths than France alone, The New York Times reports.
And that’s not just for COVID-19. In 2017, Nigeria registered just 10% of deaths.
Researchers worry the data gap is creating a myth that the continent is unscathed by the virus: “Every time somebody says, ‘I’m so glad Africa has been spared,’ my toes just curl,” said Maysoon Dahab, a King’s College London infectious disease epidemiologist.
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