Addis Ababa, Aug 22 (IANS) The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa has surged to 1,158,217, while the death toll from the pandemic stood at 26,968, according to health authorities.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said the number of people who recovered rose to 881,495 as of Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.
South Africa currently has the highest number of cases and deaths at 599,940 and 12,618, respectively.
Egypt came next with 97,025 confirmed cases and 5,212 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 50,964 cases and 992 deaths, Africa CDC said.
Ghana and Morocco also represent the fourth and fifth spot in terms of positive cases, it was noted.
The continent’s southern region is the most affected area in terms of confirmed cases, followed by the northern and western regions, it said.
On Thursday, the AU had launched a flagship campaign to intensify the continental fight against the ongoing pandemic toward protecting African economies and livelihoods amid the easing of lockdowns.
The newly launched continental initiative, dubbed “Africa Against Covid-19: Saving Lives, Economies, and Livelihoods Campaign”, mainly focuses on protecting borders and travellers; economies and livelihoods; as countries ease lockdown and resume economic activities.
John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, said during the virtual briefing that as AU member states begin to ease lockdowns and reopen, “it is critical to prepare Africa for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Noting a “sign of hope” in terms of decrease in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Africa during the past week, Nkengasong, however, emphasized the need to avoid “prevention fatigue”, and further intensify precautionary measures, such as the use of masks, social distancing as well as increase testing.
According to figures from the Africa CDC, South Africa, Morocco and Ethiopia are among the African countries that have conducted the highest number of COVID-19 tests.