Africa’s healthcare systems ‘could collapse’

A humanitarian group is warning that healthcare systems across Africa could collapse under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says conflict-hit regions are a particular concern, with many hospitals already been damaged plus the basics such as clean water and soap necessary to fight the virus in short supply.

In northern Mali, 93% of healthcare facilities have already been destroyed.

In Burkina Faso, as people flee fighting, the population of the town of Djibo has doubled.

Social distancing is virtually impossible, the ICRC says.

Meanwhile travel restrictions being introduced by some African states mean aid programmes are grinding to a halt.

The ICRC has banned non-essential travel for its staff, but says it will do its best to continue to deliver medicines and food to the most vulnerable.

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