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.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Kyari had been considered by some as Nigeria’s most powerful government figure, His infection 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.

2:48Coronavirus around the world: April 17, 2020

Coronavirus around the world: April 17, 2020

Kyari announced his illness last month, saying that “I have made my own care arrangements to avoid further burdening the public health system,

 » READ MORE FROM GLOBAL NEWS