The number of deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa could be double the annual rate this year owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
African countries usually account for over 90% of the more than 400,000 deaths from malaria recorded each year.
But new analysis by the WHO indicates nearly 760,000 people in the region could die from the mosquito-borne disease.
The WHO says border closures and travel restrictions imposed to halt the spread of Covid-19 could disrupt the supply of medicine and insecticide-treated nets that help prevent malaria.
It could lead to a return to malaria mortality levels last seen 20 years ago.
The UN body is urging countries to increase the distribution of such supplies while they can.