As of August 21, the confirmed Covid-19 case total from 55 African countries has reached has reached 1,158,236.
Reported deaths in Africa have reached 26,978 and recoveries 880,859.
South Africa has the most reported cases – 599,940, with deaths numbering 12,618. Other most-affected countries include Egypt (97,025), Nigeria (50,954), Algeria (40,258), and Ghana (43,260).
The numbers are compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (world map) using statistics from the World Health Organization and other international institutions as well national and regional public health departments.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have urged African governments to promote the safe reopening of schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
They say prolonged closure of schools is harmful to students and want governments to invest in sanitation facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus in learning institutions.
The two organisations said students are being exposed to poor nutrition, teenage pregnancies and violence during the extended stay-at-home period.
Schools in Africa are a “safe haven” for children, according to the WHO Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti.
“We must not be blind-sided by our efforts to contain Covid-19 and end up with a lost generation. Just as countries are opening businesses safely, we can reopen schools,” she said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
The long closure of schools poses a risk to the future of children and their communities, according to UNICEF Regional Director Mohamed Fall.