Africa tops 3 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 patients being treated with oxygen at the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa on July 10. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

Africa passed the milestone of three million confirmed cases COVID-19 Sunday, including more than 72,000 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Africa accounts for more than 30 per cent of the continent’s total with more than 1.2 million reported cases, including 32,824 deaths. The high proportion of cases in South Africa could be because the country carries out more tests than many other African countries.

South Africa is battling a resurgence of the disease, driven by a variant of the virus that is more contagious and spreading quickly. Many hospitals are reaching capacity, yet the numbers of those infected are expected to continue rising, according to health experts.

South Africa’s 7-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 19.86 new cases per 100,000 people on Dec. 26 to 30.18 new cases per 100,000 people on Jan. 9, according to Johns Hopkins University.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with his Cabinet this week to consider if further restrictions should be taken to slow the spread of the disease, while balancing the need to encourage economic growth.

–AP