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COVID-19: South Africa ranked fifth in the world as WHO gives new update

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World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is a 23 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa in the past week.

WHO disclosed this in a weekly COVID-19 Situation update for WHO Africa Region, External Situation Report 21, posted on WHO Africa twitter account @WHOAFRO.

According to the report, COVID-19 outbreak has continued to evolve in the WHO African Region since it was first detected in Algeria on Feb. 25, 2020.

The report indicated that “since our last External Situation Report 20 issued on July 15, 2020, a total of 117,267 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (a 23 per cent increase) was reported from 45 countries.

“Of the 117,267 reported new cases, the majority, 71 per cent (83, 506), were recorded in South Africa, which remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region.

“South Africa (381,798) is now ranked fifth in the world, with only the United States of America (3, 748, 248) and Brazil (2,098,389).

“India has 1,155,191 cases and the Russian Federation (783,328), ahead in terms of case numbers, although reported deaths are comparatively low.’’

During this period, it stated that six countries in the region observed the highest percentage increase in incidence cases.

“Equatorial Guinea recorded 125 per cent (from 1, 043 to 2,350 cases), Gambia 106 per cent (from 64 to 132 cases), Zimbabwe 71 per cent from 1,064 to 1,820 cases.

“Namibia recorded 58 per cent (from 864 to 1,366 cases), Zambia 46 per cent (from 2,283 to 3,326 cases) and Angola 44 per cent from 541 to 779 cases.

“Angola and Namibia have been among the top five countries recording the highest percentage increase for the past three reporting periods.

“Mauritius and United Republic of Tanzania did not officially submit reports indicating any confirmed case.’’

The WHO African Region and South Africa recorded their highest daily number of deaths at 264 and 216, respectively, on July 16, 2020.

“No new country reported any health worker infection for the first time in this reporting period.

“As of July 21, 2020, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the region surpassed the 600,000 mark, now at 620,389 cases, including 620,388 confirmed with one probable case reported in Democratic Republic of the Congo.’’

The report stated that the 320 probable cases from Sao Tome and Principe were reclassified as confirmed.

Meanwhile, it stated that South Africa registered more than half of all reported confirmed cases in the region, with 381,798, representing 62 per cent.

Other countries that reported large numbers of cases are Nigeria with 37,801 confirmed cases, followed by Ghana with 28,989 cases, Algeria with 24,278 and Cameroon with 16,522 cases.

Côte d’Ivoire has 14,531, Kenya has 14,168, Ethiopia (11,072), Senegal (8,985) and Democratic Republic of Congo recorded 8,534 cases.

These 10 countries collectively accounted for 88 per cent (546, 678) of all reported cases.

The total number of deaths exceeded 10,000 and is now at 10,116, reported in 44 countries, giving an overall Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 1.6 per cent.

According to the report, three countries, namely Eritrea, Seychelles and Uganda have not registered any COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. (NAN)

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