COVID-19 Cases In Africa Surpass One Million

Coronavirus has now infected more than one million people in Africa, but hopes that the pandemic may be peaking in some countries are mingled with fears of a second wave.

Nations across the continent have recorded 1,011,495 infections and at least 22,115 deaths, accounting for around five percent of global cases, according to an AFP tally as at 1100 GMT Friday.

Just five countries account for 75% of all cases, says the continent’s health watchdog the Africa Centres for Diseases Control.

Some countries have recently seen declines of around 20 percent in daily cases but it is too early to confirm this as a trend, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“African countries are doing their best, despite… limitations,” such as weak health systems, Mary Stephen of the WHO Africa office, told AFP Friday.

She, however, warned against the public complacency that can develop in prolonged outbreaks.

“Because we don’t see many people like we used to see in Italy, like 1,000 people dying (a day), people tend to relax, they think the risk is not so much in Africa”.

“We need to avoid complacency,” she said in a phone interview from Brazzaville.

Countries with high infections relative to the size of their populations include South Africa, Djibouti, Gabon, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe.  East African nations Rwanda and Uganda have managed to significantly slow down transmission, while Mauritius has flattened the curve.