Africa virus cases surpass 100,000; lockdowns slowed growth

Elias Hubbard
May 25, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has reached a milestone in Africa, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The Africa CDC also disclosed that the Northern African region is the most affected area across the continent both in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of deaths.

The continent as a whole is reporting 3,100 confirmed deaths as of Friday, the World Health Organization says.

Africa's worst-case scenario, according to published models, would see more than 3 million infected with more than 300,000 deaths and "that would be overwhelming for sure", Nkengasong said.

West Africa accounts for 27,303 cases, while Southern Africa has 20,681 cases.

Testing in Africa remains low.

"It is possible our youth dividend is paying off and leading to fewer deaths".

With 4,673 new COVID-19 cases confirmed, a total of 100,664 cases have now been confirmed in 54 countries across Africa.

But countries with fragile health systems and a recent history of conflict like Somalia and South Sudan remain a worry for health officials as cases rise.

However, Egypt has recorded the most fatalities with 696 deaths. Lesotho, which is the latest country to record a case in Africa, still has only one confirmed case. Our report examines the pathway African govts should take in confronting this virus.

However, despite the patchy spread and relatively low death toll, the United Nations health agency still believes that the pandemic poses a "major threat" to the continent.

Early lockdowns in many of Africa's countries may have prevented the disease from causing more mayhem, but Nkengasong said "that doesn't mean Africa has been spared".

"Despite global shortages, we are working hard to prioritize the delivery of testing kits and personal protective equipment to low- and middle-income countries that have the most vulnerable populations, based on the number of cases reported".

"We don't know what the impact of this will be in undernourished children with chronic malnutrition".

The WHO said around 1.5 million Covid-19 tests had been conducted so far in Africa, but testing rates remained low and many countries would need support to scale up their testing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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