A report from the World Health Organisation, WHO, has shown an increase in fresh COVID-19 cases and deaths in Africa in the last seven days, with an 11 per cent increase in new cases and eight per cent of deaths.
The report issued on Wednesday said that the pattern of increasing cases continues to be driven by South Africa and Ethiopia, with Kenya, and Botswana also reporting worrisome increases.
The WHO report noted that the majority of African countries now report community transmission of the pandemic, with 14 per cent classifying transmission as clusters of cases, three or six per cent as sporadic cases, and one or two per cent, as reporting zero active cases.
“An unusually high number of cases were reported from Botswana this week, with over 1,800 cases reported in a day. This was largely attributed to a backlog of tests administered between October 2 and October 13, mostly from the capital city of Gaborone.
“South Africa has accounted for approximately 70 per cent of deaths in the past week. The high number of deaths being reported is partially attributed to a mortality audit and many of the deaths are retrospectively reported,” the report stated.
Mauritania reported a large increase from last week (12 to 80 cases), all reported from the capital, Nouakchott. Although this is a higher number of cases than Mauritania has reported in recent weeks, it remains lower than the daily numbers reported in July.
A further breakdown of the WHO figures showed that Nigeria now ranks 7th among countries with the highest burden of COVID-19 with 61,558 cases and 1,125 deaths.
However, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday showed that the country had 61,630 confirmed cases, 1,125 deaths and 56,797 discharged infected persons after testing 595,283 samples.
The report showed that South Africa had the highest burden of COVID-19 with 705,254 cases and 18,492 deaths, Ethiopia ranked second with 89,860 cases and 1,365 deaths, while Kenya ranked third with 45,076 cases and 839 deaths.
Others are, Botswana with 5,242 cases and 20 deaths but high number of new cases of 2,023, Algeria recorded 54,616 cases and 1,865 deaths, while Angola recorded 7,829 cases and 248 deaths, but high number of 1,216new cases.
“Tanzania is the least hit country in Africa with no new case and death in the last one-week but a cumulative 509 cases and 21 deaths,” the report added.