More than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa (22 March 2020). ©WHO/Marta Villa Monge

Rising number of COVID-19 cases in Africa

Africa is also becoming increasingly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa called COVID-19 one of the biggest health challenges Africa has faced in a generation.

On 22 March 2020, 187 countries, areas or territories were affected by COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Globally, there are 294,110 confirmed cases and 12,944 confirmed deaths. Africa is also becoming increasingly affected by the pandemic. The latest Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation report, published by WHO on 22 March 2020, states that 36 African countries are affected by Coronavirus.

These countries are: South Africa, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Togo, Mauritius, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea, United Republic of Tanzania, Congo, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Gabon, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Angola, Benin, Guinea, Mauritania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Eswatini, Gambia, Niger, and Uganda.

According to the data published, 681 Coronavirus cases and 20 deaths were reported on 22 March on the African continent, South Africa being the country with the most reported cases (240).  

“The rapid evolution of COVID-19 in Africa is deeply worrisome and a clear signal for action,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa on 19 March 2020. “But we can still change the course of this pandemic. Governments must draw on all of their resources and capabilities and strengthen their response.” 

More than ten countries in the African region are now experiencing local transmission. It is crucial that governments prevent local transmission from evolving into a worst case scenario of widespread sustained community transmission. Such a scenario will present a major challenge to countries with weak health systems, WHO says.

(WHO/ile)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation reports at WHO website

More information on the current COVID-19 Situation in Africa at WHO website