Africa exceeds 3 million COVID-19 cases, 30% in South Africa

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the continent passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed cases COVID-19, including more than 72,000 deaths

JOHANNESBURG -- Africa passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed cases COVID-19 on Sunday, including more than 72,000 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Africa, with more than 1.2 million reported cases, including 32,824 deaths, accounts for more than 30% of the total for the continent of 54 countries and 1.3 billion people. The high proportion of cases in South Africa, could be because the country carries out more tests than many other African countries.

South Africa's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 19.86 new cases per 100,000 people on Dec. 26 to 30.18 new cases per 100,000 people on Jan. 9, according to Johns Hopkins University.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with his Cabinet this week to consider if further restrictions should be taken to slow the spread of the disease, while balancing the need to encourage economic growth. The government has already reimposed measures including a ban on the sales of liquor, the closure of bars and restricting the number of people who can attend public gatherings.

South African health minister Zweli Mkhize said that his aim is to see 67% of the country's 60 million people vaccinated by the end of 2021, a goal that many health experts say is laudable but unrealistic.