Africa has recorded more than half a million Covid-19 infections, with many countries experiencing a sharp rise in cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.
So far, the virus has claimed 11,595 lives on the continent, the WHO said.
Covid-19 infections have more than doubled in 22 countries in the region over the past month, with Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa accounting for about 42% of all cases.
South Africa is the continent’s worst affected nation, shouldering 29% of Africa’s total caseload, according to the WHO.
“With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of Covid-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating,” said WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti.
The pandemic is progressing slowly in Eritrea, Gambia, Mali, Seychelles and Togo.
Ten countries, including Egypt, have experienced a downward trend over the past month, the WHO said.
Almost 90% of Covid-19 infections are among people aged 60 and below, likely due to Africa’s relatively young population.