COVID-19 activity in parts of Africa has grown exponentially over the past 2 weeks, raising worries that the region could become the next pandemic epicenter in the weeks and months ahead, according to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The world’s case total climbed to 3,646,206, and at least 255,096 have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.
Sharp rises, widespread transmission in Africa
For the week ending May 3, COVID-19 cases in Africa increased by 41%, with the region’s total rising to 29,463 cases and 1,079 deaths, the WHO African regional office said yesterday in its weekly update. Comoros recently reported its first case, leaving Lesotho as the only country in Africa with no confirmed infections.
Countries that reported sharp rises over the past week include Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Sao and Principe, Eswatini, and Gabon.
Ten countries account for 80% of Africa’s cases, and transmission is widespread in seven of them. Overall, the five hardest hit countries include South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. And so far, 826 healthcare worker infections from 27 countries have been reported.