Africa tops 3 million confirmed virus cases

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A health-care worker sanitises her hands before conducting COVID-19 tests at a Dis-Chem drive-through testing station at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. South Africa with 60 million people has reported by far the most cases of the coronavirus in Africa, with more than 1.1 million confirmed infections. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

By The Associated Press undefined

Africa passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed cases COVID-19 Jan. 10, including more than 72,000 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

South Africa accounts for more than 30% 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 seven-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.