Bill Gates warns coronavirus could hit Africa hardest

Bill Gates has warned that the rapidly spreading coronavirus could hit healthcare systems across Africa harder than in China, following the first confirmed case on the continent in Algeria.

In a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Gates said the potential impact in sub-Saharan Africa could be ‘very, very dramatic’.

This disease, if it’s in Africa … it’s more dramatic than if it’s in China, even though I’m not trying to minimise what’s going on in China in any way,” Gates said, according to a report by The Telegraph. “Will this get into Africa or not and if so, will those health systems be overwhelmed?”

The billionaire businessman and philanthropist added that coronavirus could soon evolve into a pandemic, and while there has only been one confirmed case across Africa, it’s possible that other cases have not yet been reported.

Africa’s growing relationship with China, where coronavirus is thought to have originated, increases the risk of infection on the continent. Around one million Chinese live and work in Africa, while China is home to an estimated 80,000 African students.