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Africa surpasses half a million COVID-19 cases, WHO says

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 said Africa recorded more than half a million COVID-19 infections, with many countries experiencing a sharp rise in cases.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

WHO added that, so far, the virus had claimed 11,595 lives on the continent.

COVID-19 infections have more than doubled in 22 countries in the region over the past month, with Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa accounting for about 42 per cent of all cases.

According to WHO, South Africa is the continent’s worst affected nation, shouldering 29 per cent of Africa’s total caseload.

According to the organisation’s Africa Director, Matshidiso Moeti, with more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of Covid-19 overwhelming the fragile health systems on the continent is escalating.

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“The pandemic is progressing slowly in Eritrea, Gambia, Mali, Seychelles and Togo.

“Ten countries, including Egypt, have experienced a downward trend over the past month,” WHO said.

However, almost 90 per cent of COVID-19 infections are among people aged 60 and below, likely due to Africa’s relatively young population.

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