By Cecilia Ologunagba
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there has been 30 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the African Region in the past week.
WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, disclosed this in COVID-19 Situation Report posted on its official Twitter account @WHOAFRO on Thursday.
In external situation report number 19 issued on July 8, it stated that COVID-19 outbreak continued to grow in the WHO African Region.
It said the virus continued to grow since it was first detected in Algeria on 25 February, 2020.
“Since our last External Situation Report 18 issued on 1 July, 2020, a total of 91, 038 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (a 30 per cent increase) was reported from 45 countries.
“Of the 91, 038 reported new cases in the region, the majority 71 per cent (64, 646) were recorded in South Africa.
“South Africa remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region and the country is now among the top 15 most affected countries globally.
“South Africa has the cumulative number of cases (215, 855) exceeding that for Turkey (206, 844), Germany (196, 944) and France (159, 568), which previously reported the highest numbers.
“On 4 July 2020, the WHO African Region and South Africa recorded their highest daily case count of 13, 474 and 10 853, respectively.’’
Similarly, it said the WHO African Region and South Africa registered the highest daily death toll of 225 and 192, respectively, on 7 July 2020.
“During this period, five countries in the region observed the highest percentage increase in incidence cases.
“Lesotho recorded 237 per cent increase (from 27 to 91 cases), Namibia 166 per cent (from 203 to 539 cases) and Madagascar 57 per cent (from 2, 214 to 3, 472 cases).
“Also, Malawi recorded 48 per cent increased (from 1,265 to 1, 877 cases) and South Africa 43 per cent (from 151, 209 to 215, 855 cases).
“Equatorial Guinea and United Republic of Tanzania did not officially submit reports indicating any confirmed case.
“A total of 119 new health worker infections were recorded from three countries: Ghana (70), Malawi (38), South Sudan (7), Sierra Leone (2), Gambia (1) and Lesotho (1).
“Two countries: Gambia and Lesotho reported their first health worker infection this reporting period,’’ it stated.
In addition, it stated that from 1 to 7 July, 2020, 1, 221 new COVID-19 related deaths (20 per cent increase) were registered in 33 countries, with 845 (69 per cent) of the deaths recorded in South Africa
This was followed by Nigeria, with 79 (6.5 per cent) deaths and then Algeria with 56 (4.6 per cent) deaths.
The report further stated that currently, 33 (70 per cent) countries in the region were experiencing community transmission, seven (15 per cent) have clusters of cases and seven (15 per cent) have sporadic cases of COVID-19.
It stated that the region had also observed increased incidence of importation of cases from affected countries within the region, largely fueled by long-distance truck drivers and illicit movement through porous borders.