Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 1.35 million

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent has reached 1,353,283, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Monday.

The continental disease control and prevention agency said in a statement that the death toll related to the pandemic now stood at 32,625 as of Monday afternoon.

A total of 1,090,676 people infected with COVID-19 have recovered across the continent, the Africa CDC said.

The most affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The continent’s total COVID-19 cases represent about 5 percent of the global tally, according to the Africa CDC.

Ten countries accounted for 81 percent of the new COVID-19 cases reported during the past week in Africa: South Africa at 22 percent, Morocco at 21 percent, Ethiopia at 14 percent, Libya at 10 percent, Algeria 4 percent, and Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Tunisia and Egypt each at 2 percent.

In terms of reporting the highest cumulative incidence of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in Africa, South Africa placed first at 1,079, followed by Cabo Verde at 647 and Djibouti at 539.

The Africa CDC called for stronger COVID-19 testing capacity to effectively contain the spread of the virus across the continent.

“Testing is the cornerstone of response to this pandemic,” said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC. “Without testing we will be fighting blindly.”

“We need to scale up testing and we need to improve the turnaround time for testing so that we can quickly identify, isolate and treat positive cases,” he said. 

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