South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria continue to drive COVID-19 infections in Africa, accounting for 71% of all cases on the continent, Dr. John Nkengasong, the director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said at his regular press conference on Thursday.
African countries have reported over 1.4 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 35 thousand deaths, giving a case fatality rate of 2.4%, according to data from the Africa CDC. That data accounts for 4.5% of the cases and 3.6% of the deaths reported globally.
Nearly 32 million people have contracted the deadly bug in the world and close to 980,000 people have died globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University virus tracker.
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As of Thursday morning, South Africa had 665,188 cases or 47% of all infections on the continent while Morocco followed close behind with 107,743 infections or 8% of all cases in Africa. Egypt had 102,375 cases or 7% of all infections on the continent, while Ethiopia and Nigeria had 71,083 cases and 57,724 cases each, representing 5% for Ethiopia and 4% of all cases for Nigeria.
To date, there have been nearly 1.2 million recoveries reported in Africa, accounting for 82% of the total cases reported.
In the past one week, more than 55,000 new cases have been reported in Africa, a 9.8% increase from the previous week.
Five countries – Morocco, South Africa, Libya, Tunisia and Ethiopia – reported the highest number of new cases in the last seven days alone, between September 17 and September 23.
Morocco reported 15,022 cases and South Africa reported 11,744 cases while Libya confirmed 5,931 new cases. Tunisia said it confirmed 4,856 new coronavirus cases while Ethiopia reported 4,641 cases, according to the Africa CDC.
There were seven countries with the highest incidence (number of new cases per 100,000 population) over the last 7 days. Libya topped the list with 90 cases for every 100,000 people. Cabo Verde confirmed 72 infections for every 100,000 people while Tunisia had 41 cases, Morocco 41cases, Namibia 27 cases, South Africa 20 cases and Eswatini had 13 cases for every 100,000 people.
Over the past 4 weeks, on average there has been an overall 3% decrease in the number of new cases being reported each week for the continent. On average. by region over the past 4 weeks there has been a 56% increase in the Central region, 15% decrease in the Eastern region, 14% increase in the Northern region, 11% decrease in the Southern region, and 14% decrease in the Western region.
At least 10 countries that are actively sharing data are reporting case fatality rates higher than the global case fatality rate of 3.1%.
Those countries are Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (7.1%), Chad (7.0%), Sudan (6.2%), Liberia (6.1%), Niger (5.8%), Egypt (5.7%), Mali (4.3%), Algeria (4.0%), Angola (3.6%) and Sierra Leone (3.3%)
In all, African Union Member States have reported 14,075,068 tests, a 4.9% increase this week over the figures for last week, Africa CDC said.
The 10 countries that contributed 78.5% of the tests are South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius.
The agency has also commenced shipment of laboratory test kits and supplies donated by MasterCard Foundation to 20 member states.
Dr. John Nkengasong, the director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said fieldwork is ongoing for the COVID-19 vaccine public perception survey in the following South Africa, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr. Nkengasong COVId-19 clinical trials are currently ongoing in a number of African countries. He welcomed the announcement by Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday that it would commence final-stage clinical trial of its single dose vaccine on three continents, including in South Africa.
ohnson & Johnson announced on Wednesday it had started a 60,000 person clinical trial of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine on three continents, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that it could learn key results from the trial by early next year. The vaccine is being developed by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.
The final-stage trial will include 60,000 adult volunteers, those with and without comorbidities associated with an increased risk for progression to severe COVID-19, and will aim to enroll participants in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the United States.