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COVID-19 cases increase by 47% in Africa – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there has been a 47 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the African Region in the past week.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO on Thursday.

The agency said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continued to evolve in the WHO African Region since the first case was reported on February 25, 2020 in Algeria.

Since then, the disease has spread to over 30 countries in less than a month, now affecting all member states except for Lesotho.

Meanwhile, in COVID-19 WHO African Region External Situation Report 9, issued on May 6, the agency said the latest country to report a confirmed case was Comoros, which did on 30 April, 2020.

“Since our last situation report, an additional 10, 577 confirmed COVID-19 cases (47 per cent increase) and 294 additional deaths ( 33 per cent increase) were reported across the WHO African Region.

“During this period, a sharp rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was observed in five countries: Sao Tome and Principe (from 11 to 171 cases, representing 1,455 per cent increase), and Guinea Bissau (from 77 to 292 cases, 279 per cent)

“Chad (from 52 to 170 cases, representing 227 per cent increase) Nigeria (from 1,532 to 2,950 cases, 93 per cent) and Central African Republic (from 50 to 94 cases, 88 per cent).

“Meanwhile, five countries, including Eritrea, Mauritius, Namibia and Seychelles have reported zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“Of note, Namibia, Seychelles and Eritrea have reported zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 30, 28 and 16 days, respectively.

“As of 5 May, 2020, a cumulative total of 32, 953 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,193 deaths (case fatality ratio 3.6 per cent) have been reported across the 46 affected countries in the region,” it said.

Currently, it stated that the majority of the countries in the region were experiencing local transmission of COVID-19 and the number of countries with widespread community transmission also increasing.

“The region has also observed increased incidences of importation of cases from affected countries within the region.

“Overall, in the African continent, a total of 49,121 cases and 1, 956 deaths (case fatality ratio 4.0 per cent) have been reported as of 5 May, 2020.

“This includes 32,953 cases and 1,193 deaths in the WHO African Region and 16,168 cases and 763 deaths in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region,’’ it added. (NAN)

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