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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.

Go deeper: Coronavirus accelerates in Africa as economic damage deepens

Go deeper

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Data emerge showing more differences between COVID vaccines — Pfizer says data suggests COVID vaccine boosters are warranted — EU pledges 200 million vaccine doses to Africa, low-income nations.
  2. Health: NIH launches massive project to study long COVID — Pandemic didn't lead to spike in uninsured.
  3. Politics: 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers — Axios-Ipsos poll: 60% of voters back Biden vaccine mandates.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Nov 15, 2020 - Health

U.S. surgeon general: "Pandemic fatigue" behind soaring coronavirus cases

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Photo: MichaelL Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

"Pandemic fatigue" is the main reason for the record rises in COVID-19 cases the United States has seen this month, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told NPR in an interview broadcast Saturday.

Why it matters: The U.S. is on track for its worst month of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The latest Johns Hopkins data shows the U.S. broke the world record for the number of new cases again on Friday, with 177,224 people testing positive.

Nov 14, 2020 - Health

Austria announces nationwide lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hold a news confernce in Vienna. Photo: Herbert Neubauer/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Austria will impose a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Saturday, after a nighttime curfew and partial shutdown failed to control the country's surge in coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: Austria is experiencing an average of 7,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, Kurz tweeted on Saturday. The nation confirmed a record 9,586 new virus cases on Friday, per Reuters.