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Coronavirus cases top 100,000 across Africa

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A commuter wears a face mask on a bus in Gaborone, Botswana on May 21.
A commuter wears a face mask on a bus in Gaborone, Botswana on May 21. Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images

There are now more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus across Africa, with the virus spreading to every country in the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

So far, 3,100 people in Africa have died from the virus.

“For now Covid-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

During a briefing on Friday, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said, “On the one hand, good news — the disease hasn’t taken off in a very fast trajectory, but a concern some countries are accelerating in the number of cases.”

Ryan warned that within Africa, there are “many, many highly vulnerable groups” and the impact of coronavirus on those groups has yet to be seen. 

“We don’t know what the impact of this will be in undernourished children with chronic malnutrition, we don’t know what the impact of this will be in in overcrowded refugee camps. So, there’s a lot still to be learned,” he said. 

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