In a video interview recorded in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, philanthropist Melinda Gates voiced what many with an interest in Africa were thinking.
“When I saw what China had to do to isolate an enormous part of their population, my first thought was: Africa. How in the world are they going to do deal with this?”
Gates’ concerns were broadly justified. The fear, particularly widespread in the public health and development NGO circles, was that the continent’s fragile health systems would be easily overwhelmed if the pandemic took hold in a few large countries.