Africa is surpassing 2.5 million COVID-19 cases – Reuters tally

(Reuters) – The total number of coronavirus cases in Africa exceeded 2.5 million on Saturday, according to Reuters accounting, as the second wave of diseases hits the continent.

PHOTO FILE: People can be seen walking at sunset past a furniture house on Adetokunbo Ademola road in Abuja, Nigeria December 3, 2020. REUTERS / Afolabi Sotunde / File Photo

Countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Mauritania, Ghana and Ivory Coast have seen a sharp rise in cases and are reporting near higher rates of disease, according to a Reuters account.

Prompt measures including travel restrictions and border closures allowed African countries to prevent spread when the first cases were reported in March. But the economic impact of the measures has made it easier for governments.

As people rest on guard and ditch social distance steps, diseases are on a spike.

According to a Reuters survey, Africa has reported about 454,000 new cases in the last 30 days, nearly 18% of the total number of 2.5 million cases reported.

South Africa is the worst affected country in Africa with 912,477 cases and 24,539 deaths. The country has seen significant progress in diseases since the beginning of December.

The South African government said Friday it had identified a new version of the coronavirus that is driving a second wave of diseases.

Governments across the region are forcing locks, invitations and restricting gatherings ahead of Christmas celebrations.

Nigeria ordered schools to close forever, banned concerts, fairs and street parties and ordered some civil servants to work from home in their commercial capital, Lagos.

The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a curfew and other measures, including the wearing of masks in public places.

As developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom begin vaccinating their people, most African poor countries are according to the World Health Organization ‘s COVAX program, which aims to at least Deliver 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

But according to a Reuters report this week, the scheme has a “very high” risk of failure, which could leave countries home to billions of people without access to vaccines for as long as 2024, internal documents state.

Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Edited by Frances Kerry