WHO worries about “silent epidemic” unless Africa prioritises virus testing

A Kenyan ministry of health medical worker takes a swab from a truck driver during a testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Namanga one stop border crossing point between Kenya and Tanzania, in Namanga, Kenya May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

(Reuters) – Africa has so far been spared the worst impact of the coronavirus, but the World Health Organization is worried the continent could face a “silent epidemic” if its leaders do not prioritise testing for it, a WHO envoy said on Monday.

“My first point for Africa, my first concern, is that a lack of testing is leading to a silent epidemic in Africa. So we must continue to push leaders to prioritise testing,” Samba Sow told a news conference.