The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said over 196,000 people have died of COVID-19 on the African continent since the outbreak of the viral infection.
The Africa CDC says more than 7.7m cases have been recorded on the continent so far with over 6.9m recoveries.
The agency disclosed this in its latest update, noting that the continent has now recorded 7,794,416 cases and 196,675 fatalities.
The African Union health agency stated that 6,954,758 recoveries had been recorded despite the increase in fatalities.
In the Africa CDC’s latest report, the Central African region has recorded
219,129 cases; 3,205 deaths and 190,345 recoveries while Cameroon has the highest figures with 83,425 cases; 1,350 deaths and 81,326 recoveries.
East Africa, according to the report, recorded 909,767 cases;18,853 deaths and 779,468 recoveries with Ethiopia leading the region with 308,134 cases; 4,675 deaths and 276,842 recoveries.
In Northern Africa, there are now 2,357,541 cases; 63,236 deaths and 2,038,940 recoveries while Morocco has the highest figures with 860,948 cases; 12,649 deaths and 793,607 recoveries.
According to the report, Southern Africa has now recorded 3,703,137 cases; 102,694 deaths and 3,393,22 recoveries as South Africa is still the leading country on the continent with 2,777,659 cases; 82,261 deaths and 2,544,563 recoveries.
The Africa CDC report shows that Nigeria has the highest figures in the West African region with 192,431 cases; 2,469 deaths and 178,759 recoveries out of 604,842 cases; 8,687 deaths and 552,782 recoveries recorded.
The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa, in a statement on its website, said the continent must strengthen its surveillance systems, bolster treatment capacities, step up the supply of crucial medicines and swiftly vaccinate those most in need.
African health ministers, according to the statement, met recently to take stock of the continent’s fight against COVID-19 as the pandemic continues to stretch health systems to breaking point in some countries.
WHO says just two per cent of all Africans are fully vaccinated against the virus.
The ministers assessed immediate actions needed to curb Africa’s third wave, which saw COVID-19 cases in Africa surpass 7 million, reach a record weekly peak of over 250 000 in early July and drive up deaths to a record weekly peak of over 6400 in early August.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti in the statement said Africa had shown leadership, determination and fortitude in the fight against the pandemic.
“I commend the swift action and tough decisions taken by African governments, particularly early on in the pandemic.
“We must build on this renewed unity of purpose to strengthen our surveillance systems, bolster treatment capacities, step up the supply of crucial medicines and swiftly vaccinate those most in need.
“COVID-19 has been a ruthless reminder that we must invest in our health systems for the health, security and prosperity of all Africans,” Moeti said.