The milestone for one million cases of Covid-19 was crossed on Thursday in Africa, a continent which, however, remains the least affected in the world and where the distribution of cases is very uneven.
About 1,000,054 cases of Covid-19 contamination have been registered across the African continent, according to figures compiled by AFP on Thursday 6 August. Among them, there are at least 21,724 deaths, which corresponds to about 5% of cases worldwide.
Only five of Africa’s 54 countries account for 75% of cases, according to the continent’s Center for Disease Control. The World Health Organization (WHO) also noted on Thursday that in recent days several African countries had registered a decline of about 20% in daily cases.
“We need to see a little more before we can say for sure that this is a trend. [qui va durer]”, estimates Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s head of Africa. Cases are still rising in a dozen countries, but this increase” is not exponential “, according to the WHO, which nevertheless emphasizes the low level of testing and the lack of materials to do so. to “a constant challenge”.
Among the countries reporting a large number of cases per million population are South Africa, Djibouti, Gabon and Cape Verde. Updating the situation in several important African countries.
- South Africa – More than half of the continent’s falls
Africa’s most industrialized country accounts for more than half of the continent’s confirmed cases, with 538,184 infections. South Africa is the fifth most affected country in the world, behind the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.
The cases registered daily decrease slightly and fall below the 10,000 mark against an average of 12,000 in July. More than 9,000 people died. “We are not done yet[avec la pandémie]South African Health Minister Zweli Mkwize acknowledged on Tuesday.
He indicated that his country may “have reached the top [de la pandémie]at the end of August “, however, warns of the risk of a second wave if measures taken to contain the spread of the virus are abandoned too quickly.
South Africa introduced one of the toughest lockdowns in the world at the end of March, before easing. Instead of the explosion of pollution, the schools have again been closed for a month and one night curfew has been reintroduced.
About 24,000 health workers in South Africa have been infected with Covid-19 since the pandemic began in March and 181 have died from it, a figure higher than in most other African countries.
South Africa has the best hospitals and health centers on the continent, but the WHO still sent 43 experts there this week to “strengthen” the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Egypt – Other countries most affected in Africa
Egypt was the first African country to report a case of Covid-19 on February 14, 2020. To date, it has officially declared 95,000 cases, including 4,630 fatalities, placing it in second place on the continent behind South Africa.
The number of daily cases has decreased from about 1,500 in July to less than 200 this week.
On July 18, Jihane al-Assal, head of the Scientific Committee against the New Coronavirus, claimed that his country had “passed the peak of the pandemic”. Last weekend, she announced the gradual closure of hospitals where Covid-19 patients were placed in isolation, but added that the government was “preparing” for a possible second wave of pandemics.
A curfew imposed in the country in March was lifted in June and regular domestic and international flights resumed 1your July. Tourism, a key sector for Egypt, is growing very slowly.
- Nigeria – Only 3,000 tests per day
Nearly 45,000 cases have been identified in the most populous African country (200 million inhabitants), including 930 deaths, placing Nigeria in third place. Daily falls, which were 500 to 800 last month, have dropped to 300 or 400.
But the authorities are afraid of an even more serious second wave. “A further increase in cases is expected [avec l’assouplissement des mesures de restrictions pour tenter d’enrayer la pandémie]”said Boss Mustapha, who is leading the fight against coronavirus in the presidency.
In Lagos, a megalopolis of 20 million people and the center of the epidemic, these measures are gradually being lifted, as evidenced by the opening of churches and mosques on Friday.
Only 3,000 tests are done every day in Nigeria, one tenth of those done in South Africa with a population of only 58 million.
- Algeria – Resuscitation of cases
For several weeks, Algeria has seen an increase in the pandemic: 1,273 deaths and more than 33,626 cases were recorded with a record 675 cases on July 24. Following the first partial deconfinancing measures in early June, the country has registered an increase in cases.
On June 29, the government opted for “targeted containment” of towns and neighborhoods in outbreaks of Covid-19 infections. It also decided to keep the borders closed.
The spread of the pandemic has caused major damage to the country’s economy, which is also facing the collapse of oil prices. Many retailers, including restaurant owners, cafes or travel agency owners, are at risk of bankruptcy.
- Ethiopia – Significant increase in cases in July
In less than three weeks in July, the number of cases increased dramatically in Ethiopia and on Thursday, the country registered with about 110 million people more than 20,000 cases and more than 365 deaths.
If these numbers remain low compared to the population, the WHO fears that the recent riots and demonstrations linked to the assassination of a popular singer belonging to the majority Oromo ethnicity, will accelerate the transmission of the virus, the strict measures to prevent it not being as good as previously.
About three quarters of the cases are in the capital Addis Ababa.
- Zimbabwe – Insecure health situation
It is one of the African countries where daily infections climb the most: the number of registered cases doubled in ten days last month and is now 4,200, of which 81 are fatal.
With a failed health care system struggling with shortages of medicines and equipment, and underpaid and overworked staff, the situation in Zimbabwe is particularly precarious.
Nurses, who have been on a pearl strike for months to demand better wages and better protection against the virus, have received doctors.
At the funeral of one of his ministers who died of Covid-19, President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged health workers to act responsibly and promised that they would meet their demands, but not “at the expense of the loss of life”. “When the pandemic spreads and the death toll increases, there are no winners, no one. We all die,” he said.