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Covid-19: Africa with over 72,000 infections and 2475 deaths

Africa has recorded 20,400 new cases of covid-19 in the last week, bringing the total number of infections on the continent to over 72,000, where 2,475 people have died from the disease, according to figures released this Thursday.


According to figures, presented from Addis Ababa by the director of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of the African Union (AU), John Nkengasong, Africa records 72,336 cumulative cases of new coronavirus infection and 2475 deaths in 54 countries.

The number of patients given as recovered is 25,268.

The lethality rate of the disease in the continent reaches 3.4 percent.

According to John Nkengasong, since May 7, 20,400 new cases have been registered on the continent, 1.4 times more than the previous week (14,896).

"On average, 3,000 new cases a day have been registered," said the head of Africa CDC.

The biggest increase in cases was registered in West Africa (33 percent), followed by North Africa (25 percent), Southern Africa (23 percent), East Africa (10 percent) and Central Africa (9 percent).

Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal are, according to the Director of Africa CDC, the countries responsible for the increase in cases in West Africa.

"Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal have increased testing significantly. By Wednesday, Nigeria had tested more than 30,000 people, when a few weeks ago the number of tests was between 3 and 4,000. That's considerable progress," said John Nkengasong.

"The more you increase the scale of the tests, the more cases you will find. So the increase in registered cases is not a bad thing, it's positive," he said, adding that CDC Africa will continue to encourage countries to do more testing and keep up with developments in the region.

South Africa (12,074), Egypt (10,431), Morocco (6,512), Algeria (6,253) and Ghana (5,408) are the countries with the most cumulative cases of covid-19, together accounting for 56 per cent of the total on the continent.

Djibouti, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau are the countries with the most reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

After Lesotho declared its first case of the disease on Wednesday, the Sahrawi Republic is now the only member state of the African Union, but it is not recognised as a country by the United Nations, with no record of infections in its territory.

Among Portuguese-speaking African countries, Guinea-Bissau has the highest number of infections, with 836 cases, and has three deaths.

Cape Verde has 289 infections and two deaths and Sao Tome and Principe has 231 cases and seven deaths.

Mozambique has 107 infected patients and Angola has 45 confirmed cases of covid-19 and two deaths.

Equatorial Guinea, which is part of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), has had 439 positive cases of infection and four deaths for over a week, according to Africa CDC.

John Nkengasong also said that since the arrival of the pandemic on the continent, CDC Africa has sent more than 1000 volunteers to countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia to support governments to implement the strategy to accelerate population testing.

Overall, the director of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC Africa) said some 1.2 million covid-19 tests have already been conducted on the continent, a figure considered "remarkable progress" compared to just over 400,000 tests four weeks ago.

"We still have problems with access to testing, but it is improving. There is a worldwide shortage of tests and we are trying to unblock the situation," he said.

Globally, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 294,000 lives and infected more than 4.3 million people.

More than 1.4 million patients have been considered cured.

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