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COVID-19, 85 Thousand Confirmed Cases in Africa. AU Appeal: Don’t Leave Us Alone

The spread of Coronavirus in Africa is exponential. According to the numbers issued today by the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are almost 85 thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa to date, 2,766 deaths and 32,494 recoveries.

North Africa has been hit the hardest with 27,282 cases, 1,422 deaths and 11,196 recoveries, followed by Western Africa with 24,213 cases, 511 deaths and 8,623 recoveries.

Southern Africa counts 16,812 cases, of which 15,515 in South Africa alone, the country that has been hit the hardest with 264 deaths and 7,006 recoveries.

In Central Africa there are 7,749 cases, and Cameroon has reported almost 3,000 confirmed cases to date.

In Eastern Africa, Somalia and Djibouti have the highest number of cases, over 1,400, while there have been no deaths reported in Eritrea, Ruanda and Uganda.

The situation is still alarming. So much so that the African Union (AU) has launched an appeal to help African countries get through the Coronavirus emergency, in particular by reducing debts and by providing medical supplies.

The appeal was issued by the President of South Africa and African Union Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa, during his speech at the opening of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Africa is extremely vulnerable to the ravages of this virus and needs every possible support and assistance, including much-needed resources, to bolster its response and offset a potentially devastating social and economic fallout. The African Union has taken very deliberate steps to respond to the scourge […] and has made a call for developing countries to be assisted in their efforts to combat the pandemic and to rebuild their economies,” Ramaphosa said during a videoconference. He then added, “This assistance needs to include debt relief,” and the “need to deepen international collaboration […] in COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics and in vaccines”.

President of China, Xi Jinping, in his speech at the meeting, stressed the need to prioritized support for Africa, adding that China had already “sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 50 African countries” and had sent Five Chinese medical expert teams to the African Continent.

The much-anticipated Assembly, amid the Coronavirus emergency and the tensions between the United States and China, opened today in virtual mode.

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