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Africa CDC: Continent now nearing 170,000 COVID-19 cases

The 54 African Union (AU) member states have reported more than 4,700 deaths and nearly 75,000 recoveries.

Picture: 123rf

JOHANNESBURG - The Africa Centres for Disease Control on Friday said that the number of COVID-19 cases on the continent was now nearing 170,000, with more than 40,000 cases in South Africa.

The 54 African Union (AU) member states have reported more than 4,700 deaths and nearly 75,000 recoveries.

South Africa has the most cases on the continent, followed by Egypt with nearly 30,000 cases.

Egypt is in north Africa, which also includes Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, and this region has the highest number of combined cases.

AU chair President Cyril Ramaphosa has made repeated calls for development partners to assist the continent, saying that its weak health systems would not cope if more people needed intensive care and ventilators.

He also called for the suspension of debt repayments, special borrowing rights and the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan.

TEST KITS FOR AFFRICA

President Ramaphosa said that South Africa and other African countries’ manufacturers would take part in producing 60 million COVID-19 test kits for Africa.

He made the statement in the Western Cape on Friday, where there is a backlog of 27,000 tests.

Ramaphosa said that the platform would also procure test kits from other parts of the world, like China, and would be launched in a few days.

"Well, 60 million test kits, for starters, for the entire continent and we will have those 30 million test kits made available every month. This is the platform that is going to enable our own manufacturers here in South Africa as part of the platform and a number of other countries on the continent."