The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa surged to 1,178,770 as the death toll from the pandemic rose to 27,592, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said on Sunday.
The number of people who recovered from their COVID-19 infections rose to 899, 802 as of Sunday, said Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission, in its latest situation update.
South Africa currently has the most COVID-19 cases, which hit 607,045. The country also has the highest number of deaths related to COVID-19, at 12,987.
Egypt, which has the second highest COVID-19 cases in the continent, neared the 100,000 mark on Sunday. Egypt confirmed 97,237 COVID-19 cases and 5,243 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 51,905 cases and 997 deaths, Africa CDC said.
Ghana and Morocco also represent the fourth and fifth spot in terms of positive cases, it was noted.
The southern Africa region is the most affected area in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases, followed by northern Africa and western Africa regions, it said.
On Saturday, the Africa CDC urged the continent to avoid coronavirus “prevention fatigue.”
The urgent call was made by John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, who noted “a slight decrease” in COVID-19 infection rates on the continent, and said this “gives some signs of hope that we are beginning to bend the curve slowly,” an AU statement issued on Saturday quoted Nkengasong as saying.
The Africa CDC Director, however, cautioned the continent “to maintain and increase the use of masks, social distancing, and to ramp up testing, even as countries begin to ease lockdown measures.”
“We do not want the population to show prevention fatigue,” Nkengasong said, adding that “we are dealing with a delicate virus that can easily flare up again very quickly, as has been witnessed in other parts of the world.”
The Africa CDC, specialized healthcare agency of the AU, also announced this earlier week that Africa is working towards “trusted testing” for COVID-19 to protect travel and borders.
This will entail mutual recognition of certified COVID-19 testing among all member states, to allow for smooth movement across the continent.
Nkengasong said the Partnership for Increased COVID-19 Testing (PACT) “will be used to enhance surveillance in different economic sectors.”
The continental PACT initiative, which was rolled out in June when the continent had conducted under 400,000 tests, had a target of 10 million tests across the continent.