The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa says the number of COVID-19 deaths in the WHO African Region has increased to 1, 200.
The UN’s health agency gave the update on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO on Friday, April 24, 2020.
“Over 27, 000 COVID-19 cases reported on the African continent – with over 7, 000 associated recoveries and 1,200 deaths recorded,” it said.
The WHO African Region COVID-19 dashboard showed that, in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa suffered the most severe outbreak, while Cameroon and Ghana had more than 2,000 confirmed cases.
The figures on the dashboard showed that South Africa, Algeria and Cameroon had continued to top the list of countries with the highest reported cases.
It showed that South Africa had 3,953 cases and 75 deaths followed by Algeria with 3,007 cases and 407 deaths, while Cameroon had 1,401 confirmed cases with 49 deaths.
According to the dashboard, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritania and The Gambia are countries with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.
It showed that South Sudan had the lowest confirmed cases of four reported with zero death.
Mauritania, the dashboard showed, was second country with the lowest confirmed cases with seven reported cases and one death.
Sao Tome and Principe, the third country with the lowest cases, had recorded eight confirmed cases with zero death.
Also, the dashboard showed that Nigeria was number six among the countries with the highest cases with 981 confirmed cases and 31 deaths.
In a related development, the agency in “COVID-19 for WHO Africa Region External Situation Report 8” posted on its twitter handle said the COVID-19 pandemic had continued to spread in the WHO African Region.
According to the report, COVID-19 cases in the WHO African Region have increased by 43 per cent in the past week and the number of deaths also increased by 38 per cent.
It said the pandemic had continued to spread despite the implementation of lockdown orders in the vast majority of countries.
“The number of new confirmed cases continues to increase every week, albeit at a slower pace than previously, thus indicating that the peak of the outbreak has not yet been reached.
“Four countries (South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon and Ghana) have recorded over 1 000 cases; these countries alone account for over half (55 per cent) of the cases reported in the region.
“It is essential to reinforce mitigation measures in these countries in order to reduce morbidity and mortality, maintain essential health services and minimise the disruption of public services and economic activities,” the report said.
At the same time, it said just over half (53 per cent) of affected countries had reported fewer than 100 cases to date.
“In these countries, measures to contain or at least delay the spread of the outbreak need to be intensified.
“The measures include active case finding, testing and isolation of cases, contact tracing, physical distancing and promotion of good personal hygiene practices.
“Also, the absence of reported COVID-19 cases from Comoros and Lesotho calls for a reinforcement of the alert management system in these countries, including the intensification of active case search and testing of suspected cases.
“Governments need to commit local resources, supplemented by the donor communities, to support the implementation of their containment and mitigation strategies,” concludes the report.
By Cecilia Ologunagba