Africa’s COVID-19 cases up to 2.44 million amid warnings of second wave

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RABAT, MOROCCO - JUNE 25: A man takes a customer's temperature as he enters a cafe shop after restaurants and cafe shops reopened, which were closed within the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restrictions, after the restrictions were eased in Rabat, Morocco on June 25, 2020. (Photo by Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Africa’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 2,448,266 as of December 18, according to data from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

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

South Africa remains the worst affected country in terms of infections with 892,813 with local authorities already attempting to contain a second wave of the pandemic. Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize on Friday said there was a new variant of COVID-19 found in the country and the government believed it was driving the second wave.

The second worst affected country is Morocco (409,746) followed by Egypt (123,701), Ethiopia (118,481) and Tunisia (115,966). Algeria and Kenya have both reported more than 93,000 cases.

The continent has also reported 57,776 deaths with South Africa, which has 24,011 deaths, accounting for 41 percent of the continent’s total. Egypt follows next with 7,015, then Morocco with 6,804, Tunisia has 4,032, and Algeria has 2,640. Ethiopia (1,831), Kenya (1,618), Sudan (1,408), Libya (1,337) and Nigeria (1,201) are the other countries to have reported more than 1,000 deaths.

On Thurdsay, the W.H.O. warned the continent was not yet in the clear regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the threat of spreading the virus remained very real.

Authorities in countries experiencing resurgence in the numbers of infections have blamed the rise in cases on complacency and blatant violation of existing health protocols.

Moreover, despite the threat of a second wave of the pandemic, governments have generally relaxed restrictions designed to contain the spread of the virus.

However, some countries like Kenya, Namibia and South Africa responded to the rise in cases by announcing further restrictions to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

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