The second wave of the coronavirus is spreading swiftly in Africa, a continent once perceived as one of the relatively safest places when speaking of the deadly virus.
Africa passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed cases Covid-19 on Sunday, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 72, 000 people have also died of coronavirus infections in Africa since Egypt became the first country in the continent to confirm a coronavirus case about 11 months ago, data from the Africa CDC revealed Sunday.
The death toll includes the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango; Somalia’s former prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari among a host of other prominent people.
Countries such as South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya, Algeria and Nigeria are seeing a sharp rise in cases and are reporting near record levels of infection.
Quick measures, including travel restrictions and border closures, enabled countries in Africa to limit the spread when first cases were reported in March. But the economic impact of the measures prompted governments to ease them.
As people relax their guards and ditch social distancing measures, infections have spiked.
According to a Reuters analysis, Africa has reported over 500,000 new cases in the past one month, nearly 20 per cent of its reported total of over 3 million cases.
But despite crossing the grim milestone, Africa is the least affected region so far, accounting for only about 5 per cent of global cases.