Monday, 28 Sep 2020

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'Aggressive action' needed as Africa coronavirus cases pass 1m

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Health Desk- 07 Aug, 2020: "Aggressive and bold" action is needed as Africa's coronavirus cases pass the one million mark, according to the African Union (AU) body dealing with the pandemic.

It says South Africa - where testing has been widespread - accounts for more than half of all cases.

Tanzania's lack of data meanwhile is a "concern" for the AU.

Experts say a lack of comprehensive testing across Africa means the true extent of the pandemic is not known.

Tanzania, for example, has not published figures for weeks and in early July its health minister said the virus was "heading towards an end".

"We continue to reach out [to Tanzania] but we're not having the right responses," director of the AU's Centres for Disease and Control (Africa CDC), Dr John Nkengasong, told the BBC.

Africa's first coronavirus case was confirmed in Egypt in February - three weeks after Europe, and two months after the outbreak began in China in December