The number of patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus in Africa has reached 1.31 million, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

With the number of cases having stood at 1.58 million, active cases are 272,356, it said in its latest update.

At least 38,597 people have died of virus-related complications so far across the continent, which has 54 countries.

Southern Africa recorded 762,300 cases, North Africa 395,400, East Africa 186,000, West Africa 182,000 and Central Africa 58,800.

At least 19,200 people have died of the infection in Southern Africa, 12,100 in North Africa, 3,500 in East Africa, 2,700 in West Africa and 1,100 in Central Africa.

Southern Africa saw 679,000 people recovering from the virus, North Africa 301,400, West Africa 163,900, East Africa 115,400 and Central Africa 52,400.

– ‘Africa virus cases not increasing’

The WHO chief has said that Africa has done better than expected in tackling the outbreak.

‘’One of the few encouraging trends is in Africa, which has been less affected than other regions and is now the only region where cases are not increasing,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the Financial Times Africa Summit on Monday. “The current downward trend is cause for optimism.”

Tedros said Africa’s long experience responding to infectious diseases means that a number of countries already have the expertise, laboratory infrastructure, and networks of community health workers that are critical for containing COVID-19.

He said African countries have increased virus testing “but still there are problems with access to testing kits.’’

‘’Just as with the rest of the world, Africa must remain vigilant with this virus,’’ he added.

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