Coronavirus has claimed 399 lives so far in Africa. According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, there are 8 916 confirmed cases of the virus on the continent.
Since the outbreak of the virus in 2019, there have been concerns about the ability of the continent to deal with the spread given the continent’s health infrastructure challenges.
The world body has also expressed concern over rate of increase not just between countries, but also within different localities in the hardest-hit countries.
In South Africa, all provinces have now reported cases. The outbreaks in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Senegal are also reported to be widespread.
“Case numbers are increasing exponentially in the African region,” says the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.
“It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first 1 000. Three days after this, there were 2 000 cases and two days later, we were t 3 000.”
In the video below, the United Nations expresses concern about the impact of the coronavirus in Africa:
South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt’s number of confirmed cases have gone beyond the 1 000 mark. While South Africa has the highest number of confirmed infections at 1 655, Algeria is leading when it comes to the number of deaths, with 130 deaths and 1 251 cases.
South Africa has so far recorded 11 deaths.
Other countries that are continuing to see an increased number of cases include Morocco with 960 cases, Cameroon with 650 cases and Tunisia with 553 cases.
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) April 6, 2020
In order to contain the spread of the virus, countries in the region have introduced regulations, which limit the movement of people. South Africa is currently on its 11th day of the 21 days lockdown.
Other countries, which have instituted partial and complete lockdowns include Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Botswana has been swift with its response to the pandemic. The country’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi last Thursday announced an indefinite State of Public Emergency and a 28 days lockdown. The country has four confirmed cases and one death.
While the number of deaths increases across the world, there are 13 countries in Africa which have not reported any deaths. These include Rwanda which has 102 cases, Madagascar with 77 cases and Uganda with 48 cases.
South Sudan has the least number of confirmed infections with just one case, followed by Burundi with just three cases. The World Health Organisation has reiterated its call for countries to work together in the fight against the deadly virus.
"We still have a long way to go in this fight. WHO is working every day with all countries and partners to save lives, and to mitigate the social and economic impact of the #COVID19 pandemic"-@DrTedros #coronavirus
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 3, 2020