Africa coronavirus cases top 100,000
Written by MaryGift Sunday on May 23, 2020
Africa has now recorded more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus, according to an AFP tally drawn from official figures on Friday.
Across the continent, a total of 100,002 cases had been registered as of 1100 GMT Friday, of which 3,095 were fatal.
Countries in northern Africa have the highest death tolls, led by Egypt (696 deaths from 15,003 cases) and Algeria (575 deaths from 7,728 cases).
South of the Sahara, the highest tolls have been in South Africa (397 deaths out of 20,125 cases) and Nigeria (211 deaths, 7,016 cases).
The continent-wide figure is far behind that of the United States, with 1,577,758 cases, 96,978 of them deaths, and Europe, with 1,974,501 cases and 171,011 deaths.
Experts warn that Africa’s figures are likely to underestimate the true scale of the pandemic there, due to lack of testing capacity.
The World Health Organization, as it announced the 100,000 mark had been reached, said the virus had spread to every country in the continent since the first case was confirmed 14 weeks ago.
The WHO said the disease seemed to be on a different pathway in Africa than in other continents.
Case numbers have not grown at the same exponential rate as elsewhere and so far, Africa has not experienced the high mortality seen in some parts of the world.
“For now, COVID-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Africa regional director.
“It is possible our youth dividend is paying off and leading to fewer deaths. But we must not be lulled into complacency as our health systems are fragile and are less able to cope with a sudden increase in cases.”