Africa records over 25,000 COVID-19 deaths – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says there are over 25,000 COVID-19 deaths on the African continent.

The UN health agency gave the update on its regional official Twitter account @WHOAFRO.

WHO stated on its dashboard that “there are over 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 846,000 recoveries and more than 25,000 deaths cumulatively.”

It stated that South Africa had 589,886 cases and 11,982 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 49,485 confirmed cases and 977 deaths, while Ghana had 42,653 confirmed cases and 239 deaths.

It added that Seychelles, Eritrea and Mauritius were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

The office said Seychelles had 127 confirmed cases with zero death, Eritrea; 285 confirmed cases with zero death, Mauritius had 346 reported cases with 10 deaths.

In another statement on its website, WHO stated that August 14 marked six months of Africa’ first COVID-19.

It stated that while the virus had raced through many other regions of the world, the pandemic’s evolution on the African continent had been different.

“Preliminary analysis by WHO finds that an exponential surge in cases which peak about two to three weeks later is not occurring in Africa.

“Instead, many countries are experiencing a gradual rise in COVID-19 cases and it is difficult to discern a specific peak. Transmission patterns also differ between countries, but more importantly within countries.

“At the onset, COVID-19 mainly affected capital cities. However, the virus is now moving from high-density urban areas to informal settlements and then onward to rural areas that have a lower population density.”

The statement quoted Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying: “in Africa, curbing COVID-19 is a marathon and not a sprint.

“We are observing multiple local outbreaks each with their own infection patterns and peaks. It is by bolstering the response at the community level that we will win this race.

“The COVID-19 response must be integrated into the fabric of every health district.”

The statement further quoted Moeti, as saying: “Not only must we keep up with the evolving trends, we must also anticipate, predict and act faster to head off potentially disastrous outcomes.

“Areas of high transmission, as well as localities with relatively fewer infections both, deserve attention. In short, we must be strong on all fronts,” it said. (NAN)

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