COVID-19 cases in Africa rise to 63,000, UBTH begins testing


The World Health Organisation (WHO), says COVID-19 cases have risen to over 63, 000 in Africa as at May 11, from the 53, 000 reported on May 8.

WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO on Monday.

“There are over 63, 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 2, 283 associated deaths,” it said.

The figures showed that South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria had the highest reported cases in Africa.

According to the report, South Africa had 10,015 cases and 194 deaths followed by Algeria with 5, 723 cases and 502 deaths, while Nigeria had 4,399 confirmed cases with 143 deaths.

Ghana and Cameroon were number four and five respectively with 4, 263 reported cases and 22 deaths, while Cameroon has 2, 579 with 114 deaths.

According to the report, Mauritania, Comoros, Seychelles are countries with the lowest confirmed cases in the region.

The report indicated that Mauritania had eight confirmed cases with one death; Comoros also had 11 reported cases and one death, while Seychelles recorded 11 confirmed cases with no death.

WHO, however, said the agency was supporting countries by coordinating the work of external emergency medical teams working in the COVID-19 response.

“Teams of health care professionals are working in countries to contain the spread of the pandemic,” it said.

Meanwhile, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) in Edo, has started testing for coronavirus (COVID-19), to enhance detection and response to the disease.

The development followed the validation of its Testing Centre by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Mr Joshua Uwaila, Head, Public Relations Unit of UBTH, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin on Monday.

“The validation was announced by the NCDC on Sunday and echoed by the Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia.

“This achievement was made possible by the collaboration between UBTH and the Centre for Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), University of Benin.

“The collaboration, initiated by the UBTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, provided access to the use of the centre’s Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine for COVID-19 testing.

“With this new development, testing for COVID-19 for UBTH patients has become more efficient as travelling cost and time in handling test specimens have now been eliminated.

“This achievement adds traction to the fight against COVID-19 in Edo,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Godwin Obaseki paid a visit to the UBTH Isolation Centre on Sunday, where he was taken on a guided tour of the UBTH testing centre, among other facilities.

The governor on that visit, said he was impressed with the management of the hospital, especially the collaboration with the state government in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.


By Cecilia Ologunagba