Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

7 African countries witness 20% rise in COVID-19 cases

Even amid declining trend across Africa, high number of cases reported globally still poses risk to continent, says WHO

Rodrigue Forku   | 18.05.2021
7 African countries witness 20% rise in COVID-19 cases

YAOUNDE, Cameroon

While coronavirus cases have recently started declining across much of Africa, seven countries are showing an increase of more than 20% in cases, according to a report on Tuesday.

Benin, Eritrea, Eswatini, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and South Africa have been facing the surge in infections, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has also noted a slight uptick in deaths.

South Africa -- the hardest-hit African country by the pandemic -- is facing an increase in weekly cases for the second consecutive week.

Even amid a declining trend across the continent, the high number of cases reported globally still poses a risk for Africa, WHO said.

It added that the overwhelming increase in cases and deaths in India, and other regions of the world, were clear indicators that the pandemic was not yet under control in African countries.

"Numbers of health worker infections are still a concern, as is the relatively high case-fatality ratio, even with deaths declining overall," noted the report.

WHO said more than half of the countries in the African region are experiencing community transmission of COVID-19.

It urged African nations to continue controlling the pandemic with a combination of vaccination where available and adherence to all public health measures.

There are over 4.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent with more than 4.2 million recoveries and 126,000 deaths.

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