Africa’s COVID-19 infections continue rising

FILE PHOTO: A health worker dressed in a protective suit carries bags of bio hazard materials from a field hospital built on a soccer stadium in Machakos, Kenya, July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Africa continue to rise steadily as countries on the continent report steady rises in new cases.

According to figures from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa has registered 1,168,185 cases and 27,322 deaths by Saturday evening.

The latest numbers come as countries on the continent continue to reopen their economies gradually after months-long shutdowns.

Some countries have already allowed schools to reopen while others are still considering how safe it is to take such steps amid their outbreaks.

The World Health Organization has however cautioned against rushed reopening, urging government to ensure safety protocols are put in place to prevent any new waves of infections.

South Africa remains to be the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa, having recorded 603,338 cases and 12,843 deaths. The figures represent 51.6 percent of the continent’s infections and 47 percent of its deaths.

Globally, South Africa’s number of infections is the fifth highest, shadowed only by tallies registered by the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.

Egypt is the second-worst hit country in Africa, having reported 97,148 cases and 5,231 deaths.

Apart from South Africa and Egypt, only four other African countries have reported more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases; Nigeria (51,304), Morocco (49,247), Ghana (43,325) and Algeria (40,667).

In terms of fatalities, Algeria (1,418) is the only country besides South Africa and Egypt to have reported more than 1,000 COVID-19-related deaths.