Africa's COVID-19 cases pass 1.6 mln as AU urges joint efforts to curb pandemic

2020-10-16 01:28:30Xinhua Editor : Zhao Yuning ECNS App Download

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across the African continent has reached 1,603,982 as of Thursday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of African Union Commission, said in a statement that the number of deaths due to illnesses related to the pandemic reached 39,122 as of Thursday afternoon.

The Africa CDC said the number of people who have recovered from the infectious virus across the continent has reached 1,325,204 so far.

The continental disease control and prevention agency also said that the most COVID-19 affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

The Southern Africa region is the most COVID-19 affected region both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases as well as the number of deaths. The Northern Africa region is the second most COVID-19-affected African region.

According to figures from the continental disease control and prevention agency, six African countries account for approximately 90 percent of the new COVID-19 cases reported since the last week.

Amid the growing socio-impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-economic conditions of Africa, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, had on late Wednesday stressed that the pandemic has caused "unimaginable impact" on the socio-economic landscape of Africa.

"It came as no surprise therefore that the economic forecasts predicted that the continent will experience a recession this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in over two decades," Mahamat told the 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU, which was held virtually from Oct. 13 to 14.

The chairperson also stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic "has over-stretched our already weak public health systems to its limits."

Mahamat stressed that the African continent, under the COVID-19 pandemic, "requires us to continue to take bold and decisive steps in fighting the pandemic in a collective and coordinated approach."

"The gains that we have achieved thus far in the successful implementation of the Joint AU Continental Strategy should galvanize us on, as the continent continues to pool our resources until the scourge is defeated and beyond," Mahamat told the AU Executive Council's virtual meeting.


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