Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 6,470

The number of coronavirus cases in Africa rose to 6,470 on Thursday, the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has reported.

The figure rose from the 5,940 cases reported on April 1 in 49 African countries where coronavirus cases have been reported.

Two hundred and forty-one deaths and 504 recoveries have also been recorded as of 5pm EAT on April 2, according to the ACDC.

A breakdown of the figures show that North Africa remains the worst hit with 2,740 cases, 162 deaths, and 290 recoveries, followed by South Africa with 1,471 cases, 10 deaths, and 34 recoveries.

In West Africa, 1,207 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths, and 147 recoveries have been reported, while East Africa has 586 cases, 13 deaths, and 14 recoveries.

Central Africa has the least cases of the pandemic on the continent with 466 cases, 21 deaths, and 19 recoveries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said the numbers were increasing exponentially in the African region.

“It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the Region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first thousand.

“Three days after this, there were 2000 cases, and two days later we were at 3000,” he revealed.

In a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus, many countries across Africa have restricted movements and gathering of people.

While parts of Nigeria are locked down, nationwide lockdowns are in effect in Kenya, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo, among others.

Dr Moeti and Ms Lola Castro, the WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, addressed the restrictive measures during a virtual media briefing held on Thursday by the WHO Regional Office for Africa with the support of the World Economic Forum.

“For socially restrictive measures to be effective, they must be accompanied by strong, sustained and targeted public health measures that locate, isolate, test and treat COVID-19 cases,” Dr Moeti pointed out.

“It’s vital that ports continue to operate to receive food and other essential humanitarian cargo; that borders and roads stay open so it can be moved where it is most needed, and that distributions to vulnerable people are conducted safely,” said Ms Castro.

She added, “It’s also crucial that the international community promptly provide the considerable funding needed to maintain and scale up assistance programmes.”
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