The tiny West African nation Liberia has recorded the highest COVID 19 death rate in the West African sub-region and beyond so far on the continent.
The country which was founded by freed American slaves as at SaturdayApril 18, reported 91 confirmed COVID 19 cases with 7 recoveries and 8 deaths among the confirmed cases so far are about 18 health workers one of which died on Saturday at the 14 Military Hospital.
At 91 cases and 8 deaths, it puts the death rate at 8.8 percent, higher than the rest of the countries in the sub-region most of whom have reported more cases than Liberia.
The situation here appears gloomy. President George Weah on April 8, declared a state of emergency locking down the country for 21 days. Under the Liberian Law, the Legislators have up to one week to either approved or reject the President’s declaration.
On Friday April 17, members of the Liberian Legislature did not only approved the President’s state of emergency which was initially put at 21days but extended it to 60 days, with stimulus package attached.
On Saturday, the country reported 10 new confirmed cases 9 of which were reported in Montserrado County alone with one from Nimba County which brings the total number of confirmed cases to 91, with 76 active cases and over 489 contacts listed to follow up.
Liberia’s increasing death rate compares to its west African neighbors has raised the cause for concern amidst predictions by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).thatAfrica could see anywhere between 300,000 and 3.3 million deaths from the coronavirus.
So far in the West African sub-region, compared to Liberia, Ghana, which has by far reported more confirmed cases than the rest of the countries in the sub-region-834, has reported 99 recovery and 9 deaths so far. Ghana is followed by Ivory Coast with 801 confirmed COVID 19 cases, 239 recovery and 8 deaths. Next to Ivory Coast is Niger, which has reported 639 cases as at Sunday with 113 recoveries and 19 deaths.
Niger is followed by Bourkinafaso. With 564 cases, the country has reported 321 recoveries so far with 36 deaths. Neighboring Guinea has 518 cases, reporting 65 recoveries and 3 deaths, while Senegal has 350 cases, reporting 211 recoveries and 3 deaths.
Nigeria follows Senegal with 306 confirmed cases, 93 recoveries and 13 deaths including President Buhari’s chief of staff over the weekend. Nigeria is followed by Mali with 216 cases, 41 recoveries and 13 deaths.
Togo which shares common border with Ghana has reported 84 confirmed cases, 49 of which have recovered with 5 deaths, while Cape Verde Island has 61 confirmed cases, with 1 recovery and 1 death so far.Guinea Bissau with its political uncertainty has so far reported 50 confirmed cases with zero recovery and zero death.
Sierra Leone, which is next door to Liberia has so far reported 35 confirmed cases with zero recovery and zero death. Benin, also with 35 cases so far, has recorded 18 recoveries and 1 death. Mauritania, which has so far reported the lowest number of confirmed cases in the sub-region has 7 confirmed cases, 2 recoveries and 1 death.
However, despite these encouraging signs of minimum deaths and recoveries in the sub-region, experts have warned most deaths will be recorded in the Northern Africa sub-region while Southern and Western Africa are expected to experience a comparable death toll.
Death in the Eastern Africa sub-region are expected to be the lowest of the sub-regions in Africa.
According to the BBC, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia and Cote d I’vorie are expected to be the countries with the largest loss of life.
By Othello B. Garblah