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Africa has 43% jump in reported virus cases

/ 10:09 PM April 23, 2020

Soldiers patrol the streets of Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, April 23, 2020, as the country remains in lockdown for a fourth week in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Africa has registered a 43% jump in reported COVID-19 cases in the last week, highlighting a warning from the World Health Organization that the continent of 1.3 billion could become the next epicenter of the global outbreak. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa Africa has registered a 43% jump in reported COVID-19 cases in the last week, highlighting a warning from the World Health Organization that the continent of 1.3 billion could become the next epicenter of the global outbreak.

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in his weekly briefing Thursday that Africa also has a “very, very limited” and “very, very strained” testing capacity.

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He said that means the surge in infections is likely to be even higher. WHO’s recent report painted a grim picture for Africa. It warned the virus could kill more than 300,000 people and push 30 million into desperate poverty. Nkengasong said Africa still has time to avert such a disaster but testing people and tracing virus cases is critical.

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