Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases

A health worker in Nigeria checks students' temperatures on August 4.
A health worker in Nigeria checks students' temperatures on August 4. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekepei/AFP via Getty Images

African countries collectively surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases this week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: Some health experts believe that the true number of COVID-19 cases among African countries is higher than that figure due to a lack of testing, and fear that undetected cases could overload some of the world’s weakest health systems, according to AP.

The big picture: In many countries around the world, the virus has spread from metros to rural areas that lack health resources, and from which care could take multiple days to obtain.

  • South Africa, the continent's most developed country, has failed to contain the virus and currently has the fifth largest outbreak in the world with more than 529,000 cases and 9,298 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
  • African countries in total have reported 22,070 deaths from the virus as of Aug. 6.

What they're saying: Ridhwaan Suliman, a senior researcher at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, told AP he believes Africa likely has at least 5 million infections and South Africa alone has least 3 million.

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