Girls wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus look at a living statue at the Retiro Park in Madrid on Oct 10, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)
PARIS / TORONTO / MEXICO CITY / BUENOS AIRES / DUBLIN / RIO DE JANEIRO / UNITED NATIONS / MADRID / ROME / NAIROBI / ABUJA / GENEVA / LONDON / BERLIN / BUDAPEST / BOGOTA / QUITO / ADDIS ABABA / KIEV / SOFIA / BUCHAREST / BRUSSELS / ATHENS / ZURICH - The Spanish government is considering new restrictions, including possible curfews, in hard-hit regions like Madrid in a bid to tackle a new wave of coronavirus contagion, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday.
The country, which has Western Europe’s highest case load, is likely to surpass one million infections this week and several regions have toughened their coronavirus restrictions in the past few days.
Between Friday and Monday, Spain added nearly 38,000 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 974,449. The death toll jumped by 217 to 33,992.
Imposing a curfew in Madrid - one of Europe’s hotspots of the pandemic - and possibly beyond would require invoking a state of emergency, Illa told reporters. Any such measure lasting more than two weeks would require the support of some opposition parties, she added.
But that could prove challenging in Spain’s deeply polarised parliament.
Towards the end of Spain’s first state of emergency lockdowns from March to June, the opposition opposed any further extensions and has recently been against extending a government-ordered partial lockdown in Madrid.
The Madrid region’s top health official, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, told Spanish news agency Europa Press earlier authorities were evaluating whether a curfew was needed but they did not have the power to enforce it and would have to ask the central government.
The United Kingdom said on Tuesday it would back human challenge studies to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines by exposing volunteers to the virus after they had received a vaccine candidate.
The UK signed a contract with Open Orphan Plc and its London-based unit, hVivo, the company said.
The British government said it would invest 33.6 million pounds (US$43.5 million) in the studies in partnership with Imperial College London, laboratory and trial services company hVIVO and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The government said it would invest 33.6 million pounds (US$43.5 million) in the studies in partnership with Imperial College London, laboratory and trial services company hVIVO and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
If approved by regulators and the ethics committee, the studies would start in January with results expected by May 2021, the government said. Up to 90 volunteers could be involved at the early stage, it said.
The announcement came on the same day Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) was joining a global lab network to assess data from potential coronavirus vaccines - set up by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) - and had received funding from CEPI to develop an international standard for a COVID-19 antibody.
The UK recorded 18,804 new cases of COVID-1and another 28 deaths, daily government statistics showed on Monday.
The government set a deadline of noon Tuesday for political leaders in Manchester, northwest England, to agree to tighter coronavirus restrictions or face new rules being imposed against their will.
Meanwhile, London Heathrow airport will offer rapid COVID-19 tests to departing passengers. The Oxford LAMP rapid tests will cost 80 pounds (US$104) and will be available in as little as 60 minutes, according to a statement Tuesday from Collinson Group, which set up the facility at Heathrow.
Coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 40.4 million as the global death toll topped 1.1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has begun laying the groundwork for COVID-19 vaccination by purchasing and pre-positioning syringes and other necessary equipment, UNICEF said on Monday.
UNICEF will stockpile 520 million syringes by the end of this year in its warehouses, part of a larger plan of 1 billion syringes by 2021, to guarantee initial supply and help ensure that syringes arrive in countries before the COVID-19 vaccines, it said.
Besides syringes, UNICEF is also buying 5 million safety boxes so that used syringes and needles can be disposed of in a safe manner, thus preventing the risk of needle stick injuries and blood-borne diseases. Every safety box carries 100 syringes.
To make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are transported and stored at the right temperature, UNICEF, along with the World Health Organization, is also mapping out existing cold chain equipment and storage capacity and preparing necessary guidance for countries to receive vaccines, it said.
A total of 184 countries and economies have now joined COVAX, an international initiative co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to ensure effective and equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, the WHO chief announced at a press briefing on Monday.
With the coming of winter in the northern hemisphere and sharp acceleration in the number of new COVID-19 cases, Tedros warned that the next few months will be tough, particularly in Europe and North America.
WHO officials reiterated the importance of adhering to quarantine rules for those who test positive and those who have come in contact with a positive case.
The question for Europe is how to get the case numbers back to manageable numbers again, in order to fully re-engage on case identification, contact tracing and full quarantine of contacts, Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said.
A healthcare worker takes a nasal swab sample for COVID-19 testing from inside a freestanding isolation booth at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct 19, 2020. (NATACHA PISARENKO / AP)
Argentina has become the fifth country with more than 1 million coronavirus cases, its Health Ministry confirmed on Monday, making it the smallest nation by far to reach the grim milestone after infections accelerated in recent weeks.
There were 1,002,662 confirmed cases of the virus in the South American country by Monday night, the ministry said in a statement. In the past 24 hours, there were 12,982 new cases reported and 451 deaths, it said.
Argentina is grappling with low levels of testing. But for those getting tested, more than 60 percent of recent tests are coming back positive, one of the world's highest positivity rates.
The explosion in cases has strained hospitals and healthcare works, with intensive care unit beds in the country more than 64 percent occupied. In some provinces, healthcare systems are on the brink of becoming overwhelmed.
Belgium could be returning to full lockdown if there is no reversal of the surge in COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions, a senior Belgian virologist said in an interview with La Derniere Heure on Tuesday.
Yves Van Laethem, who addresses national news conferences on the COVID-19 situation, said only an eventual vaccine or effective treatment would overcome the pandemic.
The country of 11 million people reported on Monday a daily average of 7,876 new infections in the week to Oct 15, with an average 252 hospital admissions and 30 deaths.
Brazil recorded 15,383 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 271 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
In total, Brazil has recorded a total of 5,250,727 confirmed cases and 154,176 deaths.
The country on Monday began testing the efficacy of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) tuberculosis vaccine in treating COVID-19 patients.
State-run research center the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) began testing on healthcare workers after the vaccine proved effective in reducing respiratory infections, according to state news agency Agencia Brasil.
In addition to 3,000 volunteers in Brazil, 7,000 volunteers in Australia, Britain, Spain and the Netherlands will also take part in the trials. All are to be monitored for a year.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bulgaria reached 30,527 after a record high of 1,024 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours, official figures showed Tuesday morning.
The number of people hospitalized and in intensive care units in the Balkan country are also at their highest.
The national death toll rose to 1,008 after 22 additional deaths were recorded, while the number of recoveries increased by 210 to 17,153, the health ministry said. The number of infected medical workers stood at 1,622, it added.
Plovdiv, the second-biggest city, introduced limits for the number of people in supermarkets, while regional authorities in the capital Sofia will tighten control over existing measures, which include wearing masks in closed spaces.
Health authorities in the country will consider introducing compulsory masks outdoors, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said. Until now, the government had ruled out introducing new nationwide restrictions.
Canada reported a new COVID-19 milestone on Monday with total infections rising above 200,000 since the pandemic began in early March and as the country's second wave was expected to be worse than the first.
Ontario and Quebec, which account for around 60 percent of Canada's 37.6 million people and just under 80 percent of the country's reported COVID-19 cases, have seen sharp increases in cases in recent weeks. Both provinces have taken fresh measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Total cases rose by 3,289 to 201,437 while deaths reached 9,778, an increase of 18 over the previous day, government data released on Monday showed.
Canada announced on Monday that its border with the United States would remain closed until at least Nov.21, as cases in the US remain high.
Colombia's COVID-19 death toll rose to 29,102 on Monday as the country reported 6,311 new cases and 132 more deaths.
The national caseload reached 965,883, said the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, adding that a total of 867,961 patients have recovered.
Ecuador has managed to bend the curve of novel coronavirus infections nearly eight months after the outbreak began in the South American country, Public Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos said Monday.
The infection rate is undoubtedly decreasing, Zevallos said in an interview with local television. COVID-19 patients account for 63 percent occupancy of ICU beds and 30 percent occupancy of general hospital beds, he said.
The country's main cities have the largest outbreaks, including the capital Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, as it is much more difficult to control the spread in heavily populated areas, he said.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, Ecuador registered 134 new cases and seven deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 153,423 and the death toll to 8,106.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health said Monday that the country's COVID-19 tally has risen to 89,860 after 723 new cases were registered.
The ministry said the death toll hit 1,365 as 13 additional deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.
The capital, Addis Ababa, is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 50 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the ministry.
The European Union (EU) plans to remove Canada, Tunisia and Georgia from its list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to EU officials familiar with the matter.
At the same time, the EU intends to reopen its doors to travelers from Singapore as a result of improved virus trends there, the officials said on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations on Tuesday in Brussels are confidential. The US will remain blacklisted along with most other countries in the world.
The changes would be the first in more than two months to the EU’s recommended travel “white list,” shrinking it from 11 foreign nations at present to nine. The other eight are Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.
The update of the list comes amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe itself and, barring any changes in the plan, is due to be endorsed by EU member-country envoys on Wednesday in the Belgian capital.
Children, escorted by volunteers, walk to school holding on to a rope to help maintain social distancing, in Bellusco, northern Italy, Oct 20, 2020. (LUCA BRUNO / AP)
Excess mortality in Europe
A total of 168,000 additional deaths were recorded in the European Union (EU) from March 2 to June 28 this year when the COVID-19 pandemic was rampant in the continent, according to a Eurostat report released on Monday.
Data from the European statistical body showed that the mortality in the first six weeks of 2020 was below the average of 2016-2019, but started to rise in weeks nine and 10, and went above average from week 11 onwards, peaking in week 14 (March 30 to April 5) with 36,000 additional deaths.
The highest number of additional deaths during the period from March 2 to June 28 was recorded in Spain, at 48,000; followed by Italy, at 46,000; and France, at 30,000.
Excess mortality is a count of all deaths independent of their causes. However, the trend in excess mortality registered by Eurostat coincides with that of COVID-19 related deaths.
According to the WHO, 132,882 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in all the 27 EU member states as of June 30, and 156,954 were registered as of Oct 19.
French First Lady Brigitte Macron will self-isolate for seven days after coming into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, Macron's office said on Monday.
"Brigitte Macron was in contact on Thursday Oct. 15 with a person who has been tested positive for COVID-19 this Monday, Oct. 19, and showing symptoms of the disease," it said in a statement.
France reported a massive increase of the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, while also becoming the eighth country in the world to report more than 900,000 cases since the start of the outbreak.
Health authorities reported 13,243 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 910,277.
The number of people hospitalized went up by 743, the highest increase since April 6, at 11,661. The number of patients being treated in intensive care units (ICUs) rose by 151 to above 2,000 for the first time since May 17.
The death toll rose by 146 to 33,623.
Germany’s new coronavirus cases rose by 8,397, the highest level since the pandemic began, to 374,442, according to data by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths rose by 44 to 9,842.
Separate data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday the tally increased by 6,868 to 373,167 while the death toll rose by 47 to 9,836.
Residents of the Berchtesgadener Land district of Bavaria will not be able to leave their homes without a valid reason for two weeks from Tuesday, officials said on Monday, making it the first area in Germany to go back into lockdown since April.
The decision, which takes effect from 2 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, follows a spike in coronavirus cases in the district to 272.8 per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days.
Under the measures, schools, restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, cinemas and hotels will be closed. Church services will be allowed. Berchtesgadener Land has a population of some 106,000.
Greece has scrapped a plan to allow spectators back into sporting events, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's office said on Tuesday, as the country implements tougher restrictions to stem an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Greek authorities had initially decided to allow a restricted number of spectators into stadiums starting from Oct 31, setting a limit equal to 10 percent of capacity, or 3,500 people.
Greece registered 438 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing its tally of cases so far to 25,802, along with 520 deaths, much lower than in many other European countries.
Hungary plans to launch rapid antigen tests for coronavirus infections possibly as soon as Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday, as testing in the central European country has struggled to keep up with the pace of infections.
Orban did not elaborate on the number of rapid tests that will be carried out and a government spokesman declined to respond to further questions. The antigen tests can deliver a result in minutes.
As of Monday, Hungary had reported 47,768 coronavirus cases, including 9,651 newly confirmed cases, and 1,173 deaths. Nearly 2,000 people are being treated in hospitals.
A masked pedestrian walks past a shop selling face masks in Dublin, Ireland, on Oct 19, 2020. (PAUL FAITH / AFP)
Ireland announced some of Europe's toughest COVID-19 constraints on Monday, shutting non-essential retail, limiting restaurants and pubs to take away service and telling people not to travel more than five kilometers from their home.
Schools will stay open and essential services such as construction are allowed to continue, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said, as he moved the country to the highest level of restrictions, Level 5, for six weeks from midnight Wednesday.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin moved the country to the highest level of restrictions, Level 5, for six weeks from midnight Wednesday
Martin said the government's aim was to return to Level 3 by Dec 1. That would allow all retailers to reopen and restaurants to serve 15 customers outdoors. Even then, another lockdown could not be ruled out in 2021, he added.
To cushion the blow, the government will increase the amount it contributes to coronavirus-related jobless payments and wage subsidies until Jan 31.
Evictions will be banned while Ireland is under lockdown, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said in an RTE Radio interview.
Ireland has so far reported 50,993 confirmed cases and 1,852 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Italy’s coronavirus cases declined on Monday, falling to 9,338, compared with a daily record of 11,705 the previous day.
Patients in intensive-care units rose by 47 to 797, compared with an early April peak of more than 4,000.
Italy's government has agreed to a request from the Lombardy region, hard hit by COVID-19, to impose further restrictions to curb a new surge in infections, a health ministry spokesman told Reuters. The region said in a statement it would propose the government stop from Oct 22 non-essential economic activities and people's movements between 11 pm and 5 am, adding they would also be asked to shut down all large shops on Saturday and Sunday.
The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 1,159 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to nearly 50,000.
The center said 373 more patients have recovered while another seven have died.
A total of 49,949 cases have so far been reported in Libya, along with 27,262 recoveries and 732 deaths, the center said.
Kenyan health officials warned the country was staring at a potential crisis amid a consistent spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths across all 47 counties.
Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the positivity rate had jumped from 4 percent to 12 percent in less than three weeks since the relaxation of containment measures that include the reopening of bars and schools.
"There is no doubt we are headed for a second wave of infections as positive cases and deaths continue to rise on a daily basis since relaxation of some containment measures began," Kagwe said at a briefing in Nairobi on Sunday. "Experts are saying that wanton violation of containment protocols is wholly to blame for the spike."
Kenya's COVID-19 caseload reached 45,076 on Monday, after 195 new cases were registered, while the death toll rose to 839.
Mexico's health ministry on Monday reported 3,699 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 171 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 854,926 and the death toll to 86,338.
Mexico City's mayor warned tighter coronavirus curbs could be imposed later in the week as COVID-19 hospitalizations have been ticking up for nearly 10 days in the sprawling capital.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said hospital beds for coronavirus patients are just under half-full. Sheinbaum said she did not want to ban any activities outright, but would consider limitations such as reducing the operating hours of some businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said at his nightly news conference that the federal entity of Mexico City is one of four states in a "stable zone" for new coronavirus cases, while eight states have reversed a downward trend of fewer infections.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said the US government could authorize emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in December if it gets positive interim results in November from a large clinical trial, Wall Street Journal reported.
He added that if results from the study take longer to get, authorization may not occur until early next year.
A total of 16 doctors have been killed so far while battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, said a medical association leader on Monday.
Over the past eight months, 1,031 doctors have been exposed to COVID-19 in the country, and 321 have been infected, Baba Issa, chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the western state of Kwara, said.
Nationwide, Nigeria has reported 61,558 confirmed cases and 1,125 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
As tens of thousands of demonstrators continue to take to the streets across Nigeria against extra-judicial killings and brutality by police, a senior official warned that mass gatherings may speed up COVID-19 transmission in the next two weeks.
Ose Immunotherapeutics's vaccine trial
France's Ose Immunotherapeutics will enrol up to 400 patients for the first two stages of clinical trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it hopes will provide an extra weapon in battle against the global pandemic.
Chief Executive Alexis Peyroles told Reuters Ose hoped to roll out its vaccine in Europe and the US in 2022.
Peyroles said Ose's vaccine could be given alone or in combination with other shots for some immuno-suppressed subjects or those suffering co-morbidities such as diabetes or cancer.
If the first two phases of clinical trials due to start around the end of the year - and which will help assess safety and immune response - go according to plan, Ose will aim to team up with a partner from the industry to conduct final Phase III studies from September 2021 and possibly distribute the vaccine.
Peru's COVID-19 tally reached 870,876 on Monday after 2,201 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry.
The death toll rose to 33,820, while 6,010 patients remain hospitalized, of whom 1,094 are in intensive care units, according to the ministry.
President Martin Vizcarra announced on Monday that in the coming days, officials will evaluate the possibility of expanding new routes for international flights.
Romania's capital city Bucharest decided on Monday to close schools and cinemas, and make mask-wearing in public spaces compulsory from Tuesday.
The move came as the city entered the "red" lelvof COVID-19 after the 14-day incidence exceeded the threshold of three infections per 1,000 inhabitants.
Indoor areas of restaurants, cafes and bars will be closed while their terraces can remain open, she said, adding that "hotels and accommodation units will only serve meals indoors for their clients who rent rooms in the respective unit," said Mariana Stancu-Tipisca, spokeswoman for the Prefect's Office.
Official statistics showed that Bucharest had reported 3.02 and 3.19 cases per 1,000 inhabitants on Sunday and Monday, respectively, becoming the first region to surpass the alert limit.
Swiss health authorities reported 3,008 new coronavirus infections in a day on Tuesday as hospitalizations continued to mount.
Switzerland's public health agency reported a total of 86,167 confirmed cases in Switzerland and tiny neighboring principality Liechtenstein. The death toll rose by eight to 1,845.
The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Ukraine jumped to 113 from the previous record of 109 deaths registered last week, the national security council said on Tuesday.
The council said a total of 309,107 cases had been registered in Ukraine as of Oct. 20, with 5,786 deaths and 129,533 people recovered.
Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said the number of cases may rise to 8,000-10,000 a day in the coming weeks.
Stepanov said Ukraine would introduce stricter lockdown restrictions if cases rise to 11,000-15,000 daily. He warned that the resources of the medical system would run out if the number of daily cases exceeds 20,000.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States surpassed 220,000 on Monday as the tally topped 8.2 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
As Wisconsin battled one of the worst coronavirus surges in the country, a judge reinstated an order by the administration of Governor Tony Evers limiting the size of indoor public gatherings at bars, restaurants and other venues.
A national group representing nursing home administrators on Monday warned that they were starting to see an acceleration in coronavirus infections among their highly vulnerable residents that parallels the increases in the general population.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “strong recommendation” that all passengers and employees on airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis and ride-share vehicles should wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On COVID-19 vaccine, California Governor Gavin Newsom said a panel of experts will independently review the safety of new coronavirus vaccines and initial plans for distribution.
Russia registered 16,319 COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, setting a new all-time high as the pandemic resurges, the country's COVID-19 response center said Tuesday.
The country's cumulative number of coronavirus cases has grown to 1,431,635, including 24,635 deaths and 1,085,608 recoveries, the center said in a statement.
Moscow has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections, tallying 4,999 new cases over the last day, bringing the city's total to 372,628.
Along with many other European countries, Russia has been witnessing a steep growth in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks after many restrictions were lifted and people resumed gathering in large groups.
Russia plans to begin mass vaccinations between December and January, after the country recently approved two COVID-19 vaccines.
Tunisian Health Ministry on Monday night announced that 2,185 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed during Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, raising the tally of infections to 42,727 in the North African country.
The death toll from the virus rose by 61 to 687, the ministry said in a statement.
"The ministry recorded 978 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including 173 in intensive care units and 103 others are mechanically ventilated," it added.
Amid the rapid spread of COVID-19, Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi ordered a curfew in all 24 provinces of the country starting Tuesday.
Slovakia’s prime minister threatened to force into quarantine anyone refusing to take part in a plan to test almost all of the country’s 5.4 million people for COVID-19.
With the European Union country struggling to control a spike in new cases, Premier Igor Matovic has balked at imposing strict measures embraced by other nations including curfews and shutdowns.
Instead, the government has ordered the military to test every citizen over the age of 10 starting on Oct. 30. Anyone who refuses to take part in the free process or get tested on their own must spend 10 days in quarantine or pay a 1,650 euro (US$1,949) fine.
The solution “doesn’t violate the freedom of those who are responsible,” Matovic told journalists in Bratislava Tuesday.
Slovakia, which scored an early success against the coronavirus in the spring by imposing a swift and strict lockdown, registered 705 new infections on Monday, after posting a daily record of 2,075 on Thursday last week. Six people died, bringing the total to 98.
Almost three quarters of Slovaks support Matovic’s testing plan, according to a poll published by the Hospodarske Noviny newspaper on Tuesday. A fifth of the 1,000 people surveyed said they wouldn’t take part or were undecided.
A pilot project for tests will start as early as this week in the most affected regions.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the African continent has reached 1,654,412 as of Tuesday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC, a specialized healthcare agency of African Union Commission, said in a statement that the number of deaths due to illnesses related to the pandemic reached 39,925 as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Africa CDC said the number of people who have recovered from the infectious virus across the continent has reached 1,363,106 so far.
The most COVID-19 affected African countries in terms of the number of positive cases include South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.
The Southern Africa region is the most COVID-19 affected region both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases as well as the number of deaths.
The Northern Africa region is the second most COVID-19-affected African region, according to the Africa CDC.
South Africa currently has the most COVID-19 cases, which hit 705, 254. The country also has the highest number of deaths related to COVID-19, at 18,492.
Morocco came next with 175,749 confirmed cases and 2,976 deaths, followed by Egypt with 105,547 confirmed cases and 6,130 deaths, Africa CDC said.
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