Number of COVID-19 deaths in Africa surpasses 53,000: W.H.O.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Africa exceeded the 53,000 mark to stand at 53,261, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker checks the temperature of a resident during a regional health screening program in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

South Africa accounts for majority of the deaths with 21,963, representing about 41 percent of the total. The second and third countries in this list are Egypt (6,732) and Tunisia (3,481).

Only nine of the 52 countries which have reported confirmed cases have recorded more than 1,000 deaths. The others are Algeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Libya and Nigeria.

Only Eritrea and Seychelles have not recorded any COVID-19-related deaths, according to the W.H.O.’s statistics.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases on the continent stood at 2,231,951. South Africa remains the worst-affected country with 805,804 cases or about 36 percent of the continent’s total cases.

Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and Tunisia are the only other countries to have reported more than 100,000 cases. Only a handful of countries, among them Tanzania, which declared itself COVID-19 free, have reported less than 1,000 cases.

Last month, the W.H.O. warned of a possible surge in Covid-19 infections in Africa during the holiday season in December.

The W.H.O. singled out the tradition of families traveling to their rural homes for family gatherings to celebrate the festive season as a likely avenue for a rise in transmission of the disease.