Return to strict lockdown possible: African Union

African Union Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa advised nations on the continent to be watchful in fighting the coronavirus to avoid a second wave of infections which could lead to new lockdowns.

"The pandemic has shown a great deal of resilience and countries that have experienced a decline in infections have also encountered surges in infections that have made them to revisit the lockdown measures," Ramaphosa said at a virtual address to the Second African Union Mid-Year Coordination Meeting late Thursday.

"We must try to avoid that scenario in Africa. We remain optimistic that the momentum will not be lost and we will ensure that all outstanding work is completed," he said.

There are currently more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of the virus in Africa.

At least 40,690 people have died, according to data by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Southern Africa is the hardest hit region with 785,600 cases and 20,300 deaths. It also, however, has the most recoveries with 702,500.

North Africa recorded 454,100 cases, East Africa 199,800, West Africa 186,600 and Central Africa 59,500.

The nation of South Africa has by far the largest figures with 710,500 cases and 18,800 deaths. At least 642,600 patients have recovered in Africa's most industrialized nation.


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