There have been 1.5 million new malaria cases recorded in Burundi in the past two months as the country grapples with an outbreak that the UN says has reached epidemic proportions,

There have been more than seven million cases of the disease and nearly 2,700 deaths from malaria since the beginning of the year, the World Health Organization says.

Burundi has a population of 11 million. The government has not yet commented on the new figures.

In August, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the malaria outbreak had reached epidemic proportions in Burundi.

At that time the UN said there had been 5.7 million malaria cases since the beginning of 2019 and 1,800 people had died.

But the country’s health minister contested the figures and released his own report saying that there had been 4.3 million cases and 1,400 deaths.

He said malaria had not yet become an epidemic.