Deaths from COVID-19 across Africa have increased by 40 per cent in the last 28 days compared to the previous 28 days, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa also said Thursday that over 3.7 million COVID-19 cases have been reported on the continent in the past one year.

Egypt confirmed its index case of the deadly COVID-19 virus on February 14, 2020, making it the first country to record a case in the Africa region.

The Regional Director of the WHO, Matshidiso Moeti, while speaking at a press briefing marking one year of COVID-19 in Africa, said countries in the continent have risen to the challenge of the pandemic but at huge cost to national economies, livelihoods and development.

“In the first year of this pandemic in Africa, more than 3.7 million cases have been reported. In the coming week the continent is projected to pass a devastating marker of 100,000 lives sadly lost to this virus,” Ms Moeti said.

As of the time of reporting, the global coronavirus cases stood at 108 million and over two million deaths recorded globally. In the Africa region alone, 3,730,762 cases of the infection have been reported and almost 100,000 deaths.

“The increasing deaths from COVID-19 are warnings that health workers and health systems in many countries are dangerously overstressed,” she said.

Africa region

Despite different projections that COVID-19 will cause havoc in Africa, the continent has fared better when compared to other parts of the world.

An earlier report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) predicted up to 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections in Africa if no interventions were put in place.