Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed the 250,000-mark to reach 251,866 with 6,769 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, maintaining a mortality rate far below the global average, beating forecasts from experts.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in its latest update on Tuesday said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across Africa rose from 242,105 on Monday afternoon to 251,866 as of Tuesday afternoon, while disclosing that the death toll from the pandemic also rose from 6,464 on Monday to 6,769 as of Tuesday.
So far, Africa’s anti-epidemic efforts have achieved unbelievable positive results despite the rising figure of confirmed cases, thanks to strict preventive measures, a young population and COVID-19 cooperation with China.
Amid the rising COVID-19 caseload across the continent, some 43 African countries are under full border closure due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, according to the Africa CDC.
In addition to the 43 countries under full border closure, night-time curfew has been activated across 35 countries in an effort to halt the spread of the infectious virus, it was noted.
The Africa CDC also noted that 54 African countries are practicing limited public gathering, some 38 countries have exercised country-wide closure of educational institutions, while limited prison and hospital visits has been also ordered across 20 countries.
Some seven countries have imposed international air traffic closures, while two countries have imposed travel restrictions to and from specific countries, and two others have also activated entry/exit restrictions, according to the Africa CDC.
When population is taken into consideration, Africa has a youthful population which makes the COVID-19 less catastrophic with comparatively mild symptoms to this population.
Africa’s more youthful population with a median age of below 20 years, when compared with Europe and the United States (median age above 38 years), may have contributed to the low numbers of severe COVID-19 cases and deaths, media reports quoted a paper authored by experts in Kenya and Britain as saying.
China’s support also plays a key role for Africa to deal with the pandemic, given China and African countries have offered assistance to each other and joined hands in fighting COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Faced with the sudden attack of COVID-19, China and Africa have been supporting each other and making concerted efforts, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press conference on June 12, 2020.
“China delivered batches of medical supplies and sent medical experts to African countries. Our medical teams in Africa have been actively helping local people guard against COVID-19. We held nearly 400 training programs for tens of thousands of African medical workers,” said Hua.
China and Africa are good brothers and partners tiding over difficulties together. As AU Commission Chairperson Faki said, “Africa and China are friends and, more importantly, comrades-in-arms. Nothing can change or damage this friendship.” Both sides have proven by concrete actions that our friendship is deep and unbreakable.
China attaches high importance to growing friendly cooperative relations with Africa and stays committed to forging with African countries a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. Since COVID-19 broke out, this relationship has been further elevated as the two sides stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a press conference on Tuesday.
China will host a forthcoming Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 in Beijing on June 17. The Extraordinary Summit, jointly proposed by China, South Africa, the rotating chair of the AU and Senegal, the co-chair of the FOCAC, will be held via videolink.
Leaders of African countries including the members of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and the rotating chairs of Africa’s major sub-regional organizations and the Chairperson of the AU Commission will attend upon invitation.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the World Health Organization will also attend the meeting as special guests.
“As the pandemic continues to afflict the world, including the African continent, convening this extraordinary summit at this crucial moment demonstrates once again the China-Africa brotherhood through thick and thin,” said Zhao.
“It will not only consolidate the two sides’ consensus on solidarity against the virus and promote fresh development in China-Africa cooperation, but also bolster multilateralism and boost international cooperation against COVID-19.” Zhao added.
The Africa CDC, which noted that the virus had spread into 54 African countries, said Tuesday that some 114,308 people who were infected with COVID-19 had recovered across the continent as of the stated period.
The Africa CDC also said that the Southern Africa region is now the most affected area across the continent in terms of positive COVID-19 cases, overtaking the Northern Africa region. Western Africa region is the third-most affected area in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases.
Amid the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the African continent, the highly affected African countries include South Africa with 73,553 confirmed cases, Egypt with 46,289 confirmed cases, Nigeria with 16,658 confirmed cases, Ghana with 11,964 confirmed cases, and Algeria with 11,031 confirmed cases, it was noted. Enditem