The number of COVID-19 infections in Africa closed in on the 4.8 million mark while the death toll approached the 130,000 milestone on Friday.
According to the latest data by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the continent’s confirmed cases rose to 4,799,957 while its virus-related fatalities hit 129,719.
South Africa is the hardest-hit country by the pandemic in Africa, having registered 1,649,977 cases with 56,170. The figures represent 34.37 percent of the continent’s virus load and 43.30 percent of its death toll.
The second-highest virus load in Africa is 518,122 reported by Morocco, less than a third of the tally recorded by South Africa.
Other than the two, only three countries have recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 infections; Tunisia (340,250), Ethiopia (270,527) and Egypt (258,407).
Besides South Africa, only to other countries have reported more than 10,000 virus-related deaths; Tunisia (12,451) and Egypt (14,904).
In efforts to contain the virus, the continent has rolled out mass vaccination programs, initially targeting the elderly, healthcare workers and other high-risk groups.
The vaccination drive has however not picked pace as planned, as the continent struggles to obtain the life-saving jabs.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization said the continent needs to obtain 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to enable those who have already received their first jabs to complete their dose within the recommended eight – twelve week duration.