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34 African countries report 640 coronavirus cases as death toll reaches 16

Around 640 COVID-19 cases have been reported in 34 African countries so far, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) disclosed on Thursday.

Speaking in Addis Ababa, John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director, said, “In Africa we now have around 640 COVID-19 confirmed cases coming from 34 countries.

“The death count in Africa is currently 16 from five countries.

“Those 16 deaths are distributed among Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan,” said the Africa CDC Director.

Nkengasong said the number of African countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 has dramatically increased in less than a week, a testament to the dangerous nature of the pandemic.

“Over the weekend the continent tipped over and as we now know over 34 countries have reported coronavirus infection,” he added.

Nkengasong further said Africa CDC was focusing on a three-pillar strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the continent.

“Our first strategy is aimed at prevention, the second pillar of strategy is preventing death and the third pillar is preventing social harm,” he said.

He also said Africa CDC was facilitating mass testing across the continent as part of a comprehensive plan to fight the spread of the virus.

“By next Monday we would have rolled out 60,000 tests to African countries.

“Our continental strategy is aimed at three key things: cooperation, collaboration and communication across member states,” said Nkengasong.

The AU, through it’s Africa CDC, has already activated its Emergency Operations Centre and its Incident Management System (IMS) for the coronavirus outbreak on Jan. 27.

The Africa CDC had also developed its third Incident Action Plan that covers the period from March 16 to April 15.

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