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Africa records over 100k COVID-19 infections and over 3k deaths

Officials said case numbers have not grown at the same exponential rate as in other regions and the continent has not experienced the high mortality rate.

A laboratory specialist wearing protective gear walks toward the ward for quarantined people who had close contacts with the first Kenyan patient of the COVID-19 at the Infectious Disease Unit of Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 March 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – More than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Africa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Africa said the virus has now spread to every country since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed on the continent more than three months ago.

Officials said case numbers have not grown at the same exponential rate as in other regions and the continent has not experienced the high mortality rate as seen in some parts of the world.

Around 3,100 deaths have been recorded in Africa.

The global public health body said when the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed the 100,000 mark in the European region, there were over 4,900 deaths.

WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, however warned that the continent must not be complacent as fragile health systems may not be able to cope with a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases.

Officials highlighted the elderly have a significantly increased risk of developing a severe form of the disease.

The WHO said testing as many people as possible and protecting health workers are some of the crucial aspects of their COVID-19 response.