Africa has lagged behind the global curve for coronavirus infections and deaths, but in the past few days has seen a significant rise in cases.
Currently there are more than 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent.
According to the latest data, of the WHO on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when.
While Africa was among the last continent to report cases of the virus, cases are beginning to spread throughout the continent as 33 countries have reported at least a case of the disease.
Cases in Africa have remained low compared to other continents.
South Africa still tops the chart of countries with the most cases in Africa with 709 cases. This is followed by Egypt with 366 and Algeria with 264 confirmed cases.
In Nigeria, the number of confirmed cases has increased to 46.
However, more cases might be expected from the country as contact tracing has been intensified to get the people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases.
Meanwhile Sub-Saharan Africa has recorded its first COVID-19 death, a high-ranking politician in Burkina Faso, as the head of the World Health Organisation urged the continent to “prepare for the worst”.
As of today, a tally of reported cases compiled by AFP stood at more than 2,137 for all of Africa compared with 633 cases one week ago.
Cases have risen across Africa over the past week to a total of 2,137 and 62 deaths, according to an AFP tally, prompting countries to enact strict countermeasures. https://t.co/jmLUtFB2vF #COVID19 #MonitorUpdates
— Daily Monitor (@DailyMonitor) March 25, 2020
Of these, more than 62 cases have been fatal
Algeria – 409 (19 death)
Egypt – 576 (6 death)
Libya – 3
Morocco – 450 (2 death)
Mauritania – 5
Tunisia – 278 (1 death)
Benin – 6
Burkina Faso – 146 (7 death)
Ghana – 137 (4 deaths)
Guinea – 8
Guinea-Bissau – 2
Ivory Coast – 9
Liberia – 3
Mali – 18
Mauritania – 5
Nigeria – 111 (1 death)
Niger – 10
Senegal – 130
Togo – 29
The Gambia – 3
Cameroon – 91 (1 death)
Central African Republic – 6
Congo-Brazzaville – 3
DR Congo – 48
Equatorial Guinea – 6
Gabon – 7 (1 death)
Chad – 5
Eswatini – 9
Namibia – 11
South Africa – 1280 (3 deaths)
Zambia – 16
Zimbabwe – 5 (1 death)
Angola – 2
East Africa / Horn of Africa
Djibouti – 19
Mauritius – 102
Ethiopia – 21
Eritrea – 12
Kenya – 42
Rwanda – 70
Seychelles – 6
Somalia – 3
Sudan – 5 (1 death)
Tanzania – 14
Uganda – 33
Travel Bans / Mass Gatherings
The outbreak has prompted air travel restrictions and cancellations of high-level conferences across the continent.
Nigeria has banned visitors traveling from some ‘highly hit’ countries, including the US, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Spain.
South Africa – President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of disaster, restricting travel, closing schools, banning mass gatherings and ordering bars to close or limit numbers to 50.
The country has also banned all cruise ships from its ports.
Nigeria – which has 12 coronavirus cases, is also stopping flights from any country where there are more than 1,000 infections from Saturday, the country has also banned all mass gatherings, and closed all varsities, schools.
Algeria – one of the worst-affected countries in Africa, has closed its borders and stopped flights. The north African country has also banned mass gatherings.
Rwanda – which has 11 patients with Covid-19, is banning passenger flights after Friday for 30 days.
Kenya – Kenya has suspended worship in some churches and mosques
The government also says it will manufacture its own hand sanitiser and distribute it for free, in a bid to tackle shortages.
Liberia – The country has stopped issuing passports to stop people travelling and earlier this week banned entry to those from countries worst affected by the pandemic.
Mauritius – the Mauritian government has banned entry to tourists for two weeks – after it confirmed its first three cases: two cruise ships workers and a British tourist.
Zambia – with two Covid-19 cases, the country has suspended parliament and schools and university will close after Friday.
Somalia – with one case, Somalia closed its air space overnight.
Uganda and Botswana, which have no cases so far, will close schools from next week.
Chad – with no cases, is suspending all passenger flights and closing some land borders from midnight on Thursday.
Meanwhile Health experts warn that strained public health systems in Africa could become quickly overwhelmed if the virus takes hold, especially in overcrowded urban areas.
“WHO’s recommendation is actually mass gatherings should be avoided and we should do all we can to cut it from the bud, expecting that the worst could happen,” Mr Tedros told a news conference in Geneva, where the WHO is based.
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