COVID-19 Cases in Africa Pass 10,000

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

From the Guardian:

Cases of Covid-19 in Africa have now topped 10,000, though most experts believe the real number of infections is considerably higher.

….Aid organisations continue to raise deep concern about parts of the continent where health systems are most fragile….There are also growing calls for dramatic measures to cushion the massive blow delivered by the pandemic to African economies, possibly through widespread cancellation of the massive debts run up by many countries over recent decades. This is more complicated than it sounds however. Once, it was just wealthy western countries and international institutions that were creditors. Now China’s government, banks and companies are owed as much as $160bn while African governments have raised over $55bn on international debt markets in the past two years alone.

As it happens, $55 billion is not really that much. It’s about a quarter of a percent of the international debt market of $20 trillion. So even if all these loans go completely belly up it probably won’t do a lot of damage to the economy of the rest of the world.

Of course, that’s just Africa. The bad news in this report isn’t so much the 10,000 number per se, it’s that COVID-19 has obviously spread far beyond the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere and there’s no reason to think it won’t explode just like it did here. Now add in South America, India, southeast Asia, and a few other places and things start to look pretty dicey, both for countries in the southern hemisphere and for the rest of us.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.