OYOGist.com has learned that Consultant Pharmacognosist and President, Bio-Resources Development Group, Prof. Maurice Iwu, has stated some possible reasons why Africans are not recording massive deaths from coronavirus as predicted by some experts.
According to Iwu, Africans might have some form of protection from the coronavirus. It is to be recalled that before the pandemic hit all the African nations, lots of people had predicted that the continent would be most hit by coronavirus.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) had in April predicted: “Anywhere between 300,000 and 3.3 million African people could lose their lives as a direct result of COVID-19.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned African countries to “prepare for the worst”, while Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in a CNN interview, said: “It’s going to be horrible in the developing world. And part of the reason you’re seeing that case numbers don’t look very bad is that they don’t have access to very many tests…Look at Ecuador. Look at what’s going on in Ecuador. They’re putting bodies out on the street. You’re going to see that in countries in Africa.”
But months since COVID-19 struck, Africa with its notorious poor health infrastructure has recorded the least deaths.
In an interview with the Guardian, Prof Iwu stated that the reason for this might be due to different reasons including the climate, food, and socio-economic activities.
He said, “An issue is high humidity in most African countries, not just hot temperatures. Because of the density of the virus in tropical Africa, it cannot travel far.”
“That means the recommendation of two metres of social distancing does not apply here because the virus cannot go far. Our food has more antioxidants. We take a lot of phytomedicines. A lot of our diets contain zinc, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. People take all these on a daily basis without even thinking about it.”
“We are excluded from so many socio-economic activities going on in the West. The number of people who travel from just Milan to New York on a daily basis far outnumbers the air travel in most parts of Africa.
“So, the socio-economic exclusion from the global picture has protected us from the quick spread of the virus through frequent business travels and inter-continental movements.”
The Professor who was also a former INEC chairman added that the flu shots taken in most European and American countries might have made them more vulnerable to coronavirus.