May 22, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus in Africa reaches new milestone as cases exceed 100,000

In this image, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sits
WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva on March 30 Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic "reached a milestone in Africa" on Friday, as the World Health Organization says the virus has spread to every country on the continent, with over 100,000 confirmed cases.

The big picture: Africa’s low mortality rate associated with COVID-19 may be caused in part by 60% of the continents' population is under the age of 25, according to early analysis by the WHO. Adults over 65 are at a higher risk of dying or being hospitalized due to the coronavirus, per the CDC.

Where it stands: South Africa is reporting the most cases, according to the WHO. The country — which has recorded the most cases since Africa's outbreak began in earnest in March — has now confirmed roughly 400 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.

  • The continent as a whole is reporting 3,100 confirmed deaths as of Friday, the WHO says.

What they're saying: "We don't know what the impact of this will be in undernourished children with chronic malnutrition, we don't know what the impact of this will be in overcrowded refugee camps," Michael Ryan, a senior advisor on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said at a briefing on Friday.

Flashback: Africa was reporting just 600 cases of the coronavirus as of March 19.

Go deeper: Africa's coronavirus crisis arrived before the outbreak

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