COVID-19: Africa records over 400,000 cases, 10,000 deaths

Coronavirus Pandemic

The UN health agency gave the update on its regional official Twitter account — @WHOAFRO on Wednesday.

It noted that “there are over 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent- with more than 190,000 recoveries and 10,000 deaths.”

The regional office stated that South Africa has 151,209 cases and 2,657 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 25,694 confirmed cases and 590 deaths,  while Ghana has 17,741 confirmed cases and 112 deaths.

It added that Lesotho, Gambia and Seychelles were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region as Lesotho had 27 confirmed cases with zero death.

Gambia had 49 reported cases and two deaths, while Seychelles had 81 reported cases with no death, the office said.

Meanwhile, the WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the agency had marked six months since it received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China.

Ghebreyesus said at a news conference at the WHO Headquarters that the six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincided with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths.

“This is a moment for all of us to reflect on the progress we have made and the lessons we have learned and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to save lives.

“Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world – and our lives – would be thrown into by this new virus.

“The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst of humanity; all over the world, we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity and kindness.

“But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicisation of the pandemic.

“For the past six months, WHO and our partners have worked relentlessly to support all countries to prepare for and respond to this new virus,’’ he said.

The director general said that the agency had published an updated and detailed timeline of response to the pandemic, so the public could have a look at what happened in the past six months in relation to the response.

“It illustrates the range of WHO’s work to stop transmission and save lives; we have worked with researchers, clinicians and other experts to bring together the evolving science and distil it into guidance.

“Millions of health workers have enrolled in courses through our online learning platform.

“We launched the Solidarity Trial to find fast answers to which drugs are the most effective.

“We launched Solidarity Flights to ship millions of test kits and tonnes of Personal Protective Equipment to many countries.

“We launched the Solidarity Response Fund, which has raised more than 223 million dollars for the response,’’ he said.