Africa continues to report increased new coronavirus infections, having recorded 74,913 new cases between Oct 26 and Nov 1, translating to a 6 percent increase compared to the previous week, according to data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Thursday.
The northern region reported the highest number of new cases and fatalities standing at 44,497 cases or 60 percent and 1,153 deaths, followed by southern with 15,224 cases or 20 percent and 478 deaths, eastern with 11,200 cases or 15 percent and 178 deaths, western with 2,985 cases or 4 percent and 39 deaths, and central African region with 1,007 or 1 percent and 10 deaths.
As per individual countries, Morocco recorded the highest number of new cases at 25, 063, followed by Tunisia with 11,314 cases, South Africa with 10,955 cases, and Kenya with 6,156 cases.
The continent recorded a 28 percent increase in the number of new deaths, with Tunisia leading with 498 deaths, followed by Morocco with 461 deaths, South Africa with 443, and Kenya with 111 deaths.
However, while the number of cases is increasing, the virus has spread at a slower rate in the continent compared to other parts of the world, with its infections standing at 4 percent of all cases reported globally.
Of the countries actively reporting coronavirus epidemiologic data, fifteen countries are reporting case fatality rates higher than the global case fatality rate of 2.6 percent.
They include Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic at 7.1 percent, Chad at 6.5 percent, Sudan at 6.0 percent, Egypt at 5.8 percent, Liberia at 5.7 percent, Niger at 5.6 percent, Mali at 3.8 percent, Algeria at 3.4 percent, Gambia at 3.2 percent, Sierra Leone at 3.1 percent, Malawi at 3.1 percent, Zimbabwe at 2.9 percent, Democratic Republic of Congo at 2.7 percent, Burkina Faso at 2.7 percent and South Africa at 2.7 percent.
As of Nov 6, Africa had reported a total of 1.84 million cases and 44,843 deaths. A majority of countries are still reporting community transmission, according to Africa CDC.
South Africa is the most affected country in terms of infection cases with 732, 414 cases as at Nov 6, followed by Morocco with 240,951, Egypt with 108,530, and Ethiopia with 98,391 cases.
South Africa has also recorded the highest number of deaths as at Nov 6, standing at 19,677, followed by Egypt with 6,929, Morocco with 4,059 and Algeria with 2,011.
Meanwhile, the African region finance ministers for Sanitation and Water for All, a global partnership committed to achieving universal access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation, said the battle against the pandemic is far from over.
In a meeting on Wednesday, the ministers said governments and their development partners should fortify their defenses against the disease by providing greater access to water, sanitation and hygiene services to protect their people from coronavirus and water-borne diseases.
They said more than 40 percent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa does not have access to clean water and cannot follow the advice of health experts to wash their hands as a primary way to stop the spread of the virus.
"The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call to all of us, member states, development partners and allies in Africa and beyond, to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene service delivery, in the presence of competing needs," they said.