In the past 24 hours, Africa has recorded 17 deaths from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa region has said.

While Africa was among the last continent to report cases of the virus, cases are beginning to spread throughout the continent as 33 countries have reported at least a case of the disease.

The UN health agency said so far, there has been 633 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 33 African countries leading to 17 deaths.

Meanwhile in the past 24 hours, the Gambia, Mauritius and Zambia have announced first cases.

Increasing cases

Cases in Africa have remained low compared to other continents.

Egypt still tops the chart of countries with the most cases in Africa with 210 cases. This is followed by South Africa with 116 and Algeria with 75 confirmed cases.

In Nigeria, the number of confirmed cases has increased to eight.

However, more cases might be expected from the country as contact tracing has been intensified to get the people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases.

As African countries are bracing up to tackle the rising cases, WHO said it is supporting countries with surveillance, diagnostics and treatment.

In the meantime, cases across the world have continued to soar as Europe is now the epicenter for the outbreak.

Cases have slowed down in China where the virus originated from as the country records lower index cases.

However, China still tops the chart of countries with the most infected cases and deaths globally with over 80,500 infected people and over 3,000 deaths.

This is followed closely with Italy which has so far reported over 35,000 cases and 2, 978 deaths.

As at Thursday, 6:51 GMT, a total of 219,385 confirmed cases have been reported in 176 countries with 85,749 deaths globally.

Despite the grim, people have been recovering from the virus. Over 85,000 people have been treated, recovered and discharged from the hospital.

In all these, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, has insisted that the pandemic can still be controlled if governments show more dedication.

He said the first vaccine trial has begun just 60 days after the genetic sequence of the coronavirus was shared, but countries should not relent in isolation and treatment of confirmed cases.

He said “WHO continues to recommend that isolating, testing and treating every suspected Covid-19 case, and tracing every contact, must be the backbone of the response in every country.

He said that is the best hope of preventing widespread community transmission.

Mr Ghebreyesus also recommended that wherever possible, confirmed mild Covid-19 cases should be isolated in health facilities, where trained professionals can provide good medical care, and prevent clinical progression and onward transmission.

“If that’s not possible, countries can use community facilities to isolate and care for mild Covid-19 cases and refer them for specialized care quickly if needed”, he said.