Covid-19 awareness campaign in the Kibera district of Nairobi, Kenya, April 2020/Photo: KAI

COVID-19: Africa records 15,000 deaths – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says Africa has recorded over 15,000 COVID-19 deaths.

The UN health agency gave the update on its regional official Twitter account @WHOAFRO on Wednesday.

WHO stated on its dashboard that “there are over 748,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa, with more than 409,000 recoveries and 15,000 deaths.”

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The regional office noted that South Africa had 381,798 cases and 5,368 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 37,801 confirmed cases and 805 deaths, while Ghana had 28,969 confirmed cases and 153 deaths.

The South African Medical Research Council has reported a “huge discrepancy” between the country’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths and the number of excess deaths from natural causes, indicating that the actual number of virus-related deaths could be much higher than official figures show.

The new report reveals more than 17,000 excess deaths between May 6 and July 14, compared to data from the past two years.

The council’s president, Glenda Gray, says the deaths could be attributed to COVID-19 as well as other diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, whose treatments might be suffering as resources are redirected to manage the pandemic.

Additionally, some people might be staying away from health facilities altogether over virus fears.

It added that Seychelles, Gambia and Eritrea were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

Seychelles, the office said, had 108 confirmed cases with zero death, Gambia; 132 confirmed cases with five deaths, while Eritrea had 251 reported cases with no death.

Globally, more than 15m people are or have been infected with Covid-19; 616,276 people have died while 8,347,416 have recovered, Reuters reports.

The US now counts the most infections with 3,916,922 cases and 142,033 deaths.

Kola Tella with agency reports

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