July 8: Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases now above a half-million
Africa now has more than a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases. The continent-wide total is over 508,000, according to figures released Wednesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and corroborated by the John Hopkins University tallies.
It comes after South Africa – by a mile Africa’s most impacted nation – recorded another day of more than 10,000 confirmed cases as a new global hot spot.
The true number of cases among Africa’s 1.3 billion people is unknown as its 54 countries continue to face a serious shortage of testing materials for the virus. “A tremendous problem, a real crisis of access,” the World Health Organization’s Africa chief, Matshidiso Moeti, said last week.
The continent reached the 400,000 mark on July 1 when John Hopkins tallies put the caseload at 405,171. It means that over 100,000 cases were recorded within the space of one week to reach the half a million milestone.
- Confirmed cases = 508,114
- Active cases = 251,103
- Recoveries = 245,033
- Number of deaths = 11,978
John Hopkins University tallies as of July 8 at 10:00 GMT
The five most impacted countries are as follows:
- South Africa = 215,855
- Egypt = 77,279
- Nigeria = 29,789
- Ghana = 21,968
- Algeria = 16,879
So far most testing has been concentrated in capital cities, but infections in many cases have spread beyond them.
Africa’s health systems are the most poorly funded and thinly staffed in the world, and already more than 2,000 health workers have been infected by the virus, according to the WHO.
This week alone, some anxious health workers in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Congo and Sierra Leone have gone on strike or demonstrated for adequate protective gear or better pay. The African continent has just 2.2 health workers — and 0.3 doctors — per 1,000 people, according to the WHO.
Experts have warned that even if badly needed supplies such as ventilators are provided to African nations, another challenge is having enough trained workers to operate them.
Africa reaches the half-million-case milestone as a growing number of its countries decide to reopen their skies to commercial flights, saying their economies are sick, too. Months of closed borders bought time to prepare for the pandemic but hurt the delivery of badly needed humanitarian aid.
July 1: Cases pass 400,000, deaths pass 10,000
The continental case load crossed the 400,000 mark as of July 1 according to John Hopkins University tallies. The death toll also surpassed 10,000.
There are over 201,800 active cases against 193,000 recoveries across Africa. South Africa remains the most impacted with over 150,000 cases from over 1.6 million tests.
The top five countries are South Africa (151,209), Egypt (68,311), Nigeria (25,), Ghana (17,741) and Algeria (13,907). These statistics are valid as of July 1, 2020 at 11:01 GMT.
- Confirmed cases = 405,171
- Active cases = 201,864
- Recoveries = 193,149
- Number of deaths = 10,158
Africa’s figures continue to be very low compared to other continents. Europe and America alone accounted for over 50% of cases when the WHO recently confirmed that global figures had gone past 10,000,000.
Over in South America, Brazil remains one of the worst impacted along with Iran in the Middle East. Russia and India also have very high case loads.
June 22: Cases pass 300,000 mark
Africa’s case load passed the 300,000 mark late Sunday according to statistics by the John Hopkins University tracker. As of 07:30 GMT of June 22, the figure had reached 306,000 with 8,116 deaths.
The active cases were at 151,937 with recoveries at 146,337. The continent’s most impacted remains South Africa whose tallies are almost a third of confirmed cases – current case load stands at 97,302.
Egypt (North Africa) and Nigeria (West Africa) complete the top three slots with 55,233 and 20,244 respectively. The most impacted in East / Horn of Africa region is Sudan (8,580), whiles Cameroon is Central Africa’s most hit (11,892).
Africa breached the 200,000 mark on June 10 according to the AU’s Africa Centers for Disease Control, which at the time reported that there were 203,899 cases along with 5,530 deaths and 91,398 recoveries.
Concerns continue to be raised across the continent relative to testing strength of countries especially at a time when the virus is said to have reached the stage of community transmission in most places.
Despite that, governments are easing lockdowns and reopening economies as populations are urged to embrace the new normal and play a more active role in helping to combat the virus.
May 22: Cases pass 100,000 mark
Confirmed cases of coronavirus across Africa passed the 100,000 mark barely 24-hours after the deaths hit 3,000. This is according to tallies from the John Hopkins University tracker.
The figures as of May 22 14:30 GMT stood at 100,399 with 39,481 recoveries and 3,098 deaths. The number of active cases stood at 57,82.
The five most impacted nations were as follows:
- South Africa: 19,137 confirmed cases
- Egypt: 15,003
- Algeria: 7,728
- Morocco: 7,300
- Nigeria: 7,016
South Africa is the most impact across the continent and in the southern African region. Egypt tops across North Africa and Nigeria in West Africa. Cameroon is the leader in Central Africa with 4,288 cases whiles Sudan tops in the East / Horn of Africa region with 3,138 cases.
April 18: Cases across Africa pass 20,000 mark
Confirmed cases of coronavirus passed the 20,000 mark barely 24-hours after the deaths topped 1,000. This is according to tallies from the John Hopkins University tracker.
The figures as of 13:30 GMT stood at 20,075 with 4,600+ recoveries and 1,026 deaths leaving a little over 13,350 active cases.
Egypt remained the continent’s most impacted whiles the North African region generally contributed for some of the highest numbers. Egypt with 2,844 cases, Morocco with 2,600+ cases and Algeria with 2,418 confirmed cases.
South of the Sahara, South Africa’s 2,700+ cases was the highest with Cameroon in a distant second with 1,017, Ivory Coast’s 732, Djibouti’s 732 and Ghana’s 641 completed the top five slots.
Meanwhile the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, has warned that cases could spike across the continent as more testing is rolled out in the coming weeks.
Africa could see 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus this year even under the best-case scenario, according to a new report released Friday that cites modeling from Imperial College London.
Under the worst-case scenario with no interventions against the virus, Africa could see 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections, the report by the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa said.
Even with “intense social distancing.” under the best-case scenario the continent could see more than 122 million infections, the report said.
Any of the scenarios would overwhelm Africa’s largely fragile and underfunded health systems, experts have warned. Under the best-case scenario, $44 billion would be needed for testing, personal protective equipment and treatment, the report said, citing UNECA estimates. The worst-case scenario would cost $446 billion.
Additional files on UNECA report from AP
April 17: Africa’s coronavirus deaths pass 1,000 mark as cases approach 20,000
Africa’s coronavirus deaths have surpassed the 1,000 mark according to tallies by the john Hopkins University. As at 18:30 GMT of April 17, 2020; Africa had recorded 1,002 deaths.
Since the virus arrived on the continent on February 14 in Egypt till date, the number of confirmed cases stood at 19,417 whiles recovered cases were 4,546.
The country with the highest number of fatalities being Algeria with 364 victims. Egypt despite being the continent’s most impacted in terms of infections have recorded 205 deaths as against Morocco’s 135.
In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Niger occupied the top 5 death slots with 48, 33, 23, 22 and 15 respectively.
Two African countries remain uninfected till date, they are Comoros and Lesotho. The United Nations has sounded a warning that Africa could be the next epicenter of the virus.
Meanwhile through the Africa Centers for Disease Control, the continent is seeking to roll out a million test kits to make up for shortfall in testing rates across the continent.