By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

South African health officials reported an additional 1240 COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the country total to 22,583- the most cases in Africa.

Image/Alvaro1984 18

Western Cape province has reported 2/3s of the cases with 14,470, followed by Gauteng (2773) and Eastern Cape (2690).

22 additional death were also recorded, giving South Africa a total death toll of 429- less than both Algeria and Egypt.

Mponeng gold mine closed

The BBC reports, the world’s deepest gold mine, the Mponeng gold mine, has been closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

At least 164 cases were detected there since reopening last month after a national lockdown in March.

AngloGold Ashanti, the mine’s owners, said that 650 workers had been tested after a first case was detected last week. Most of those who tested positive were not showing any symptoms. They have all been put into isolation.

Don’t neglect malaria

Jaishree Raman, with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases warns that the fight againsy malaria should not take a backseat to COVID-19.

Efforts to achieve the elimination of malaria has been weakened by governments shifting resources from malaria control and elimination initiatives to the fight against COVID-19 and now things have got worse.

Catharina Boehme is the chief executive of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO). She reported that financial incentives have encouraged many companies to dramatically downscale – or even stop – the production of tests for a number of infectious diseases, including malaria. Instead, they are now focusing on the mass production of novel tests for COVID-19.

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Malaria rapid diagnostic tests are easy to use at the point of care. They produce a result within 15 to 20 minutes. Their widespread deployment, particularly across Africa, expanded access to prompt, quality diagnosis. This enabled early treatment so that severe illness and death could be avoided.

This decision could erode the gains made against malaria over the past 20 years.