UPDATES WITH NEW FIGURES
By Addis Getachew Tadesse
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) - The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa rose to 9,457 on Monday, a substantial increase from 8,736 a day earlier.
This came in a coronavirus surveillance update issued by the Africa Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
COVID-19, according to the latest update, has spread to 51 of the 54 countries in Africa, the latest being South Sudan that confirmed its first case on Sunday.
The number of deaths has also gone up to 442 on Monday, up from 399 the previous day.
A total of 848 coronavirus patients have been recovered so far, according to the update.
The African Union Bureau of Heads of State and Government on COVID-19 prevention and resource, led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, last Friday reiterated the need for rapid and concrete support as pledged by the G20 and other international partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“It is critical that these institutions review their current disbursement policies to display flexibility and speed, including raising the availability of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs),” according to a communique issued by the Bureau after a teleconference on the issue.
“The Bureau also echoed the call for a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa, including, deferred payments, the immediate suspension of interest payments on Africa’s external public and private debt in order to create fiscal space for Covid-19 response measures.”
During the teleconference, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom told the African leaders that “Africa must act now.”
The African Union COVID-19 Response Fund was established on March 26 to which members pledged the sum of $12.5 million and an additional $4.5million to the Africa Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.