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Africa deaths above 1,000, including Nigerian chief of staff

Last Updated Apr 18, 2020 at 4:44 am EDT

A priest prays over the grave of Stephen Ndungu Gitau, who died from the coronavirus while being treated in an intensive care unit, at the Langata cemetery in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, April 16, 2020. The funeral was attended by a small number of friends and relatives but his wife Anastasiah Ndungu was unable to attend as she remains in quarantine. (AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi)

JOHANNESBURG — Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday, while Nigeria said the president’s chief of staff had died.

A total of 52 of the continent’s 54 countries have reported the coronavirus, with the overall number of cases more than 19,800.

Nigeria’s government said Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died Friday of COVID-19. “May God accept his soul,” the statement said.

Kyari’s case had been one of the highest-profile in Africa. Several government ministers and a U.S. ambassador were infected with the virus earlier in Burkina Faso.

The World Health Organization on Friday noted a 51% increase in cases in Africa and a 60% jump in deaths in the past week. But the WHO chief warned that because of a shortage of testing “it’s likely the real numbers are higher than reported.”

The Africa CDC has said more than 1 million test kits will be rolled out starting next week.


Bashir Adigun in Abuja, Nigeria contributed.


Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

The Associated Press

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