ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

The African continent has seen more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours — a record so far of aggregate new cases.

Update by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday morning showed the total number of cases reported by African countries — all but Lesotho have confirmed cases — has now reached 44,483.

The number had stood at 42,000 just one day ago.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the pandemic has reached 1,801, while recoveries went up to 14,921.

North Africa is the worst affected of five geographical regions in the continent with 16,900 cases, followed by West (11,900), South (7,200), East (4,400) and Central Africa (4,000).

Algeria faced the largest coronavirus death toll of 463 in North Africa, while in Egypt 429 people died of the virus.

In South Africa, 131 people died, with Zimbabwe being the second most affected by fatalities but with a much smaller number of four.

Nigeria lost 87 people to the virus, Burkina Faso 45, Niger 36 and Mali 27.

In East Africa, the tiny state of Djibouti with less than 1 million people has the highest cases of 1,100 with two deaths, while Sudan has the highest death toll of 41 with 592 cases.

‘We should fight with all we have’

Head of Africa CDC John Nkengasong told Anadolu Agency that although Africa was much better prepared now than it had been in March, still there remained a lot to do.

“We should fight the virus with speed and efficiency,” he said, and likened Africa’s fight against COVID-19 to how Ethiopia won against invading forces of fascists — a fight between a well-trained advanced force and a force with backward weaponry.

In a more serious tone, Nkengasong said: “We have to win it. We are already losing 1 million people to Malaria and TB [tuberculosis] each year. We should not lose another millions to this virus.”

Asked about the worst case scenario for Africa in terms of cases and deaths, he said: “I will not put a number to it.”

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

More than 3.5 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 247,500 and more than 1.12 million recoveries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

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