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Africa’s COVID-19 cases pass 1.08m as death toll surges to 24,660

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Friday, August 14, 2020 said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa surged to 1,084,687 as the death toll rose to 24,660.

Dr. John Nkengasong
Africa CDC Director, Dr. John Nkengasong

The centre, in its latest situation update issued on Friday, said the number of COVID-19 cases across the African continent has risen from 1,073,788 on Thursday to 1,084,687 as of Friday.

The Africa CDC also noted that the continent-wide COVID-19 related death toll registered an increase of 404 deaths compared to Thursday’s 24, 256 to reach 24, 660.

The continental disease control and prevention agency also said the number of people who recovered from their COVID-19 infections also reached 780,076 so far.

South Africa currently has the most COVID-19 cases at 572,865. The country also has the highest COVID-19 related deaths, with death toll currently standing at 11,270, according to the Africa CDC.

Egypt comes next with 96, 108 COVID-19 cases and 5,107 COVID-19 related deaths followed by Nigeria which has so far recorded 48,116 COVID-19 cases and 966 deaths.

The northern African country of Morocco comes fourth in terms of number of COVID-19 related cases recording 37, 935 COVID-19 cases out of which 584 resulted in the deaths.

Rounding up the top five COVID-19 infected African countries list is Algeria which has so far recorded 37, 631 COVID-19 cases out of which 1,328 resulted in the deaths.

These five countries in total account for almost three-fourth of all COVID-19 cases in Africa, with South Africa alone accounting for more than 50 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the continent.

The Southern Africa region is the most affected area in terms of confirmed cases, followed by Northern Africa and Western Africa regions, the Africa CDC said.

South Africa accounts for the highest number of COVID-19 cases per one million people, with 9,792 cases per one million people, followed by Djibouti with 5,358 cases per one million people.

Cape Verde comes third with 5,000 cases per one million people and Sao Tome and Principe comes fourth with 4,410 cases per one million people.

Rounding up the top five lists is Gabon with 3,846 cases per one million people.

The Africa CDC also said nine African countries are reporting case fatality rates comparable to or higher than the global case fatality rate of 3.7 per cent.

These African countries are Chad, Sudan, Liberia, Niger, Egypt, Mali, Angola, Burkina Faso and Tanzania.

Amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Africa, the centre disclosed on Thursday that some 23 African countries are currently implementing entry and exit restrictions, requiring COVID-19 testing and test certificates.

Amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent, the Africa CDC has called for strong continental and global collaboration to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

The Centre Director, John Nkengasong, called for the strengthening of national public health institutions, the development of competency-based workforce and expansion of community-based health programmes to fight COVID-19.

He in particular mentioned China’s “barefoot doctor” programme as an exemplary initiative African countries can emulate to help them comprehensively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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