Coronavirus – Africa records over 200,000 COVID-19 cases

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.
Download logo

COVID-19 continues to spread in Africa since the virus was first detected on the continent in mid-February 2020. More than 200 000 cases have been confirmed so far, with more than 5600 deaths. The pandemic is accelerating – it took 98 days to reach 100 000 cases and only 18 days to move to 200 000 cases.

Ten out of 54 countries are currently driving the rise in numbers, accounting for nearly 80% of all the cases. More than 70% of the deaths are taking place in only five countries: Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.

South Africa is the most affected, accounting for 25% of the continent’s total cases, with the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces reporting high number of cases and deaths daily.

More than half of the countries in the continent are experiencing COVID-19 community transmission. In many cases this is concentrated in capital cities, but cases are spreading into the provinces.

“For now Africa still only accounts for a small fraction of cases worldwide,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “But the pace of the spread is quickening. Swift and early action by African countries has helped to keep numbers low but constant vigilance is needed to stop COVID-19 from overwhelming health facilities.”

Many countries were quick to make difficult decisions and put in place lockdowns and key public health measures such as promoting physical distancing, good hand hygiene and testing, tracing of contacts of people with COVID-19 and isolation of cases. With the support of WHO and other partners, governments also rapidly started to scale up health workforce and laboratory capacities, and to set up points-of-entry screening at airports and border crossings. These public health and social measures have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

In recent weeks, countries began relaxing lockdowns to resume some economic and social activities. The shutdowns have come at considerable socioeconomic cost.

“Stay-at-home orders and closing of markets and businesses have taken a heavy toll, particularly on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities,” said Dr Moeti. “So, the need to balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods is a key consideration in this response, particularly in Africa.”

Easing restrictions should be a controlled process and needs to be coupled with ensuring that widespread testing capacities and mechanisms are in place. These steps need to be constantly adapted according to the trends in the data and maintained until the pandemic is contained or there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 which is accessible to everyone.

As countries ease restrictions, health authorities will need to ensure continuity of essential health care services while also resuming the full gamut of routine health services.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Related Content

Total secures $15.8 bln in funding for Mozambique gas project – FNB

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - French oil major Total has secured $15.8 billion in funding for its massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in...

How to reposition Nigeria’s judiciary system

Nigeria’s judicial system has come under fire in recent years and conversations around repositioning the judiciary has become rife. As lawyers in Nigeria prepare for the elections of the Nigerian Bar Association, one of the candidates vying for the top spot joins CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor for this discussion. He is Dele Adesina, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the Principal Partner, Dele Adesina Legal Practitioners....

Coke The Secret Formula EP4: Highlights Special

In this episode of The Secret Formula the team travel to Soweto and the Western Cape to investigate how The Coca Cola Company are making a difference in terms of their waste management systems and encouragement of recycling. In these uncertain times of COVID-19 it's time to paint a brighter future on that blank canvas in front of us....

Steinhoff agrees to sell stake in Conforama France to Mobilux

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Scandal-hit Steinhoff International agreed to sell its shares in furniture retailer Conforama France to Mobilux Sàrl, the parent company...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Total secures $15.8 bln in funding for Mozambique gas project – FNB

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - French oil major Total has secured $15.8 billion in funding for its massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in...

How to reposition Nigeria’s judiciary system

Nigeria’s judicial system has come under fire in recent years and conversations around repositioning the judiciary has become rife. As lawyers in Nigeria prepare for the elections of the Nigerian Bar Association, one of the candidates vying for the top spot joins CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor for this discussion. He is Dele Adesina, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the Principal Partner, Dele Adesina Legal Practitioners....

Coke The Secret Formula EP4: Highlights Special

In this episode of The Secret Formula the team travel to Soweto and the Western Cape to investigate how The Coca Cola Company are making a difference in terms of their waste management systems and encouragement of recycling. In these uncertain times of COVID-19 it's time to paint a brighter future on that blank canvas in front of us....

Steinhoff agrees to sell stake in Conforama France to Mobilux

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Scandal-hit Steinhoff International agreed to sell its shares in furniture retailer Conforama France to Mobilux Sàrl, the parent company...

Partner Content

Maktech’s Godwin Makyao: Now Is A Time of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in East Africa

As an executive decision-maker in both the telecommunications and tourism industries, Godwin Makyao could not have experienced a more diverse set of...

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Trending Now

African-born Elon Musk says he is very close to making cars that can drive themselves.

“I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy complete this year.”

Africa’s CDC urges more COVID-19 tests, masks, as continent’s cases top 500,000

NAIROBI (Reuters) - African countries urgently need to scale up coronavirus testing and the use of face masks, a regional disease control...

Sacred sites blast exposes Australia’s laws skewed to mining

But the bill comes at a time when public outrage over the caves’ destruction, fuelled by the Black Lives Matter movement, could yield different outcomes from a legal structure that has almost always greenlighted mining development at the expense of cultural sites.

Malawi appoints Wilson Banda as new central bank governor

BLANTYRE (Reuters) - Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed Wilson Banda, a former central bank official, as its new governor, a...
- Advertisement -