Africa reached 561,797 positives and 12,776 deaths from covid-19 at 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 11. One hundred thousand more infections in a week. South Africa, which has half the patients on the continent, has reported its highest increase in a single day since the start of the pandemic: 13,674 new cases and 118 deaths. Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Algeria follow. This is a 24% rise in just one week, according to the Center for Disease Control in Africa (CDC). Another important fact is that currently none of the 55 African countries or their regions is free of coronaviruses.
John Nkengasong, head of the CDC, has recommended to African countries during a virtual press conference that they adopt an aggressive approach to encourage the use of face masks and increase testing and tracing. Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Algeria account for 71% of infections on the continent and for Nkengasong it is inevitable that hospitals will eventually become overwhelmed.
In fact, the paucity of reliable data affects many African nations, and some governments are reluctant to recognize epidemics or expose their ruined health systems to external scrutiny. Other nations simply cannot perform meaningful tests because they are so devastated by poverty and conflict. Sharing information is vital to dealing with the pandemic in Africa, both to plan the response and to mobilize donor funds, say public health experts. But it is impossible to measure the severity of contagion across the continent. Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion people, has more than 525,000 confirmed cases and almost 13,000 deaths. In comparison, Latin America, with half the population, has 2.9 million cases and 129,900 deaths.
Beyond the health consequences, the pandemic could plunge as many as 50 million Africans into extreme poverty, according to the African Development Bank (ADB) in a report released Tuesday. Forecasts showed that a third of Africans, 425 million people, lived below the poverty line (with less than $ 1.90 per day) in 2020, but the impact of the disease will worsen the situation, according to the ADB in its text Economic prospects in Africa . The African development institution, based in Abidjan, is forecasting a major economic recession on the continent, with a GDP contraction of between 1.7% and 3.4% this year. It is a loss of 5.6 to 7.3 points compared to the growth forecasts before the coronavirus crisis, which were positive. According to the ADB, this year between 24.6 and 30 million jobs will be lost.