France on Tuesday said it planned to organise financial aid for poor countries, especially in Africa, to help them from becoming future sources of coronavirus contamination.
“We will have the opportunity to mobilise a real financial package, of help, to prevent this epidemic from veering towards regions or sub-continents which aren’t contaminated today but could be a risk for us tomorrow,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the National Assembly.
Just over 2 200 cases of coronavirus, 59 of them fatalities, have been recorded in Africa, which includes countries north of the Sahara, according to a toll compiled by AFP.
The tally is far behind that of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America, but is rising swiftly.
Experts have repeatedly warned that Africa is deeply vulnerable to the new virus, given its poor sanitation, overcrowded slums, many conflict zones and often decrepit health infrastructure.