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The world is facing the worst ever health crisis since World War II, and Africa has not been spared. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a global crisis affecting the core of human kind, impacting on social, economic, environment and related spheres - it is attacking societies indiscriminately.


Africa is experiencing adverse health system emergencies and related social and economic impacts spawned by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is triggering unprecedented response measures by governments, including enhancing health systems, imposing restrictions, lockdowns, among others. Evidence from previous outbreaks show that the COVID-19 crisis could exert a massive toll on the demographics, social fabric, economic and environmental aspects of life at community, national, regional and global levels. Africa is likely to be hardest hit with a heavy and durable economic toll, which will threaten progress and prospects, widen inequalities between and within countries, and worsen current fragilities.



The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China in December 2019, but the disease has now spread throughout the world and the number of infected persons increasing exponentially. The World Health Organisations (WHO) has issued guidelines, which Members States of the United Nations and other partners are referring to. Timely updates and platforms with relevant resources are made available to the global citizenry to learn and understand the pandemic. Governments and development partners are using these resources to design appropriate interventions to contain the spread of the disease and reduce loss of life and associated impacts. 

The UN Development System (UNDS) in Africa has developed the Africa UN Knowledge Hub on COVID19 as a “One-Stop-Shop” resource for all stakeholders to provide relevant information and resources on the effects of the pandemic to Africa and the subsequent responses by the African governments, the UNDS and the medical research fraternity.  The Hub harnesses information and resources from credible sources including WHO, regional UN agencies, Ministries of health of African governments and credible news channels amongst others.

Q & A

Q: What is a Corona Virus?
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. More . . .

About the Corona Virus

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. More . . .


To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. More . . .
  • Advice for the public: When and how to use masks

Myth Busters

Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19 

  • Micronutrients, such as vitamins D and C and zinc, are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being.  There is currently no guidance on the use of micronutrient supplements as a treatment of COVID-19.

    WHO is coordinating efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat COVID-19. More . . .

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