Africa’s COVID-19 infections top 300,000

A mother looks on as her daughter is attended to by a roadside hairdresser while wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 6, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The number of COVID-19 infections in Africa has surpassed the 300,000 mark as countries shift their focus on safely reopening their economies after weeks-long shutdowns.

The latest figures published by Worldometers show that the continent had reported 300,780 cases by Sunday morning, with 7,966 deaths.

South Africa remains the worst affected country by the pandemic in the continent, having registered 92,681 infections and 1,877 deaths.

The country accounts for 30.8% of Africa’s total cases.

South Africa’s death toll is only inferior to Egypt’s, as the North African country has recorded 2,106 fatalities, with its infections standing at 53,758 by Sunday morning.

The two countries account for 48.7% of Africa’s total infections.

Africa’s COVID-19 numbers by far dwarf the figures reported by other continents, but there are concerns that it has not experienced its peak yet.

Some countries are however looking at ways of tackling the spread of the virus without imposing lockdowns that were put in place initially.

The restrictions battered the continent’s economies forcing many governments to rethink their strategies in fighting the pandemic.

Tanzania has taken the boldest step, reopening learning institutions and allowing a normal resumption of life.

Countries like South Africa, Kenya and Tunisia are gradually easing the restrictions with advice from health experts.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, called for concerted efforts to boost public heath systems as a means of better fighting health crises.

“The pandemic is reminding us that health is not a luxury item. It’s a human right, and it’s essential for social and economic development,” said Tedros during the extraordinary China-Africa Summit teleconference held on 17 June.

“Now more than ever, our shared commitment must be to pursue universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere. All roads should lead to universal health coverage,” he added.