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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Africa

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Africa
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationAfrica
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseCairo, Egypt
Arrival date14 February 2020
Confirmed cases6,767[1]
Suspected cases0
Recovered555[1]
Deaths
237[1]
Territories
52[1]
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Africa on 14 February 2020. The first confirmed case on the continent was in Egypt,[2][3] and the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa was in Nigeria.[4] Most of the identified cases have arrived from Europe and the United States rather than from China.[5]

Experts have worried about COVID-19 spreading to Africa, because many of the healthcare systems on the continent are inadequate, having problems such as lack of equipment, lack of funding, insufficient training of healthcare workers, and inefficient data transmission. It was feared that the pandemic could be difficult to keep under control in Africa, and could cause huge economic problems if it spread widely.[6][5]

Matshidiso Moeti of the World Health Organization said that hand washing and physical distancing could be challenging in some places in Africa. Lockdowns may not be possible, and challenges may be exacerbated by the prevalence of diseases such as malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, and cholera.[6] The World Health Organization helped many countries on the continent set up laboratories for COVID-19 testing.[6] Many preventive measures have been implemented in different countries in Africa, including travel restrictions, flight cancellations, event cancellations,[7] school closures, and border closures.[8] Experts say that experience battling Ebola helped some countries prepare for COVID-19.[6][7]

As of 1 April 2020, four African sovereign states have yet to report a case of COVID-19: Comoros, Lesotho, South Sudan, and São Tomé and Príncipe (as well as the disputed state of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic).[9]

Statistics

Total confirmed cases

Total confirmed case by country

Daily cases for the most infected African countries:

Total confirmed cases since Day 1 of Outbreak

Confirmed cases by country and territory

Summary table of confirmed cases in Africa
Location Cases Deaths Recoveries Ref.
South Africa 1,462 5 31 [10]
Algeria 986 86 61
Egypt 850 52 179
Morocco 691 44 30
Tunisia 455 14 5
Réunion 308 0 40 [1]
Burkina Faso 288 16 50 [1]
Cameroon 284 7 10
Ghana 204 5 31 [1]
Ivory Coast 190 1 9
Senegal 190 1 45
Nigeria 174 2 9 [11]
Mauritius 169 7 0 [12]
Democratic Republic of the Congo 123 1 3
Mayotte 116 1 10
Kenya 110 3 4
Rwanda 84 0 0
Niger 74 5 0
Madagascar 59 0 0
Guinea 52 0 0
Uganda 45 0 0
Djibouti 40 0 0
Togo 39 2 17
Zambia 39 1 1 [1]
Mali 36 3 0 [1]
Ethiopia 29 0 2
Eritrea 22 0 0
Republic of the Congo 22 2 0
Tanzania 25 1 1
Gabon 16 1 0 [1]
Equatorial Guinea 15 0 1 [1]
Namibia 11 0 2 [1]
Libya 10 0 1 [1]
Mozambique 10 0 0
Seychelles 10 0 0
Benin 9 0 1
Eswatini 9 0 0
Guinea-Bissau 9 0 0
Angola 8 2 1
Zimbabwe 8 1 0
Chad 7 0 0 [1]
Sudan 7 2 2
Cape Verde 6 1 0 [1]
Liberia 6 0 0
Mauritania 6 1 2
Botswana 4 1 0
Gambia 4 1 0
Burundi 3 0 0
Central African Republic 3 0 0
Malawi 3 0 0 [1]
Somalia 3 0 1
Sierra Leone 2 0 0
Total 5,559 221 532

Algeria

The first case in the country was confirmed on 25 February. On the morning of 2 March, Algeria confirmed two new cases of the coronavirus, a woman and her daughter.[13]

On 3 March, Algeria reported another two new cases of the coronavirus. The two new cases were from the same family, a father and daughter, and were living in France.[14]

On 4 March, the Ministry of Health recorded 4 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, all from the same family, bringing the total number to 12 confirmed cases.[15]

Angola

On 21 March, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[16] Effective 20 March, all Angolan borders have been closed for 15 days.[17]

Benin

On 16 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[18]

Botswana

On 30 March, the first three cases in Botswana were confirmed.[19]

Burkina Faso

On 9 March, the first two cases in the country were reported in Burkina Faso.[20]

On 13 March, the third case was also confirmed, a person who had had direct contact with the first two cases.[21]

As of March 14, 2020, a total of 7 cases have been confirmed in the country. 5 of the new confirmed cases had had direct contact with the first two cases. 1 is an English national employed at a gold mine in the country who vacationed in Liverpool and came back on March 10, transiting through Vancouver and Paris .[22]

Burundi

On 31 March, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[23]

Cameroon

On 6 March the first case was confirmed in Cameroon.[24]

Cape Verde

On 20 March, the first case in the country was confirmed, a 62 year old from the United Kingdom.[25][26]

Central African Republic

On 14 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[27]

Chad

On 19 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[28]

Democratic Republic of the Congo

On 10 March, the first case was reported in the country.[29]

Republic of the Congo

The country's first case was announced on 14 March, a 50-year-old man who had returned to the Republic of the Congo from Paris, France.[30]

Djibouti

On 18 March, the first case in Djibouti was confirmed.[1]

Egypt

Egypt's health ministry announced the first case in the country at Cairo International Airport involving a Chinese national on 14 February.[31][32]

On 6 March, the Egyptian Health Ministry and WHO confirmed 12 new cases of coronavirus infection.[33] The infected persons were among the Egyptian staff aboard the Nile cruise ship MS River Anuket, which was travelling from Aswan to Luxor. On 7 March 2020, health authorities announced that 45 people on board had tested positive, and that the ship had been placed in quarantine at a dock in Luxor.[34]

Equatorial Guinea

On 14 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[35]

Eritrea

On 20 March, the first case in Eritrea was confirmed.[36]

Eswatini

On 14 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[37]

Ethiopia

The country's first case was announced on 13 March, a Japanese man who had arrived in the country on 4 March from Burkina Faso.[38] Three additional cases of the virus were reported on March 15. The three individuals had close contact with the person who was reported to be infected by the virus on 13 March . Since then eight more confirmed cases were reported by the health ministry to the public, bringing the total to twelve. Among the infected individuals an elderly Ethiopian in her eighties has been said to have some escalating symptoms while other eight have been on a recovery route and showing less and less symptoms of the disease. On March 27, another statement was issued by the health minister stating that four additional cases have been identified while one case being in the Adama city of the Oromia regional state and the other three being in Addis Ababa. Moreover, three more cases were confirmed by the Health Minister on March 31, 2020. Similarly, the following day other three cases were added. On the previous press release the government authorities had noted that one case was retested and confirmed negative and two of the confirmed cases have been sent to their country (Japan). In aggregate, twenty nine cases are confirmed so far as of 1 April 2020.[1]

Territories of France

Mayotte

Réunion

Gabon

The country's first case was announced on 12 March, a 27 year old Gabonese man who returned to Gabon from France, 4 days prior to confirmation of the coronavirus. they are really working on preventing more Corona virus case in the country[39]

Gambia

The Gambia reported its first case of coronavirus from a 20-year-old woman who returned from the United Kingdom on 17 March.[40]

Ghana

Ghana reported its first two cases on 12 March. The two cases were people who came back to the country from Norway and Turkey, with the contact tracing process beginning.[41][42]

On 11 March, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, made the cedi equivalent of $100 million available to enhance Ghana's coronavirus preparedness and response plan. Five more cases were confirmed as of 17 March. On 19 March, the Health Minister on his Twitter page tweeted that two more cases were confirmed overnight, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to nine (9) as at 9:00GMT. The health minister said the two cases were both imported. In the afternoon, the confirmed cases increased from 9 to 11 after a test of a 58-year-old Ghanaian woman who is a resident of Kumasi had returned from UK some weeks ago, and another patient, a 61-year-old Lebanese and a resident of Kumasi, showed symptoms of the novel coronavirus and was also tested positive. By 20 March, Ghana had recorded 5 new COVID 19 cases, of which 3 showed no travel history, while the other 2 returned from Paris, France and Amsterdam, moving the total of confirmed cases to 16.[citation needed]

Guinea

On 13 March, Guinea confirmed its first case, an employee of the European Union delegation in Guinea.[43]

Guinea-Bissau

On 25 March, Guinea-Bissau confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases, a Congolese U.N. employee and an Indian citizen.[44]

Ivory Coast

On 11 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[45]

Kenya

On 12 March 2020, the first case was confirmed in Kenya by President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.[46]

On 13 March, the first case in Kenya was confirmed, a woman who came from the US via London.[47]

On 15 March 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that the following measures to curb COVID-19 be implemented:

  • Travel from any countries with any case of Corona virus be restricted.
  • Only Kenyan Citizens, and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come into the country provided they proceed on self quarantine or to a government designated quarantine facility.
  • All schools and higher learning institutions be closed by Friday March 20, 2020.
  • Government and businesses people start working from home; except essential services.
  • cashless transactions over cash. Cost of transactions reduced.
  • No congressional meetings – weddings, malls, night clubs, churches, limitation of visits to hospitals.
  • Hospitals and Shopping malls to give soap and water/hand sanitizers, and regular cleaning of facilities.
  • Cargo vessels, aircraft or ships can come into the country provided they are disinfected at point of departure and the crew quarantined on arrival.
  • UN Headquarters in Kenya continue operating diplomats travelling to the UN are also exempted from the travel restrictions but observe the self-quarantine rule.
  • The public to use the toll free number 719 to report a Corona virus case.[46]

The Health Minister, Mutahi Kagwe banned all social gatherings including religious gatherings on the same date.All flights were banned effective Wednesday 25 March by the Health CS.[citation needed]

Liberia

On 16 March, the first case in Liberia was confirmed.[48][49]

Libya

On 17 March, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord closed the country's borders, suspended flights for three weeks and banned foreign nationals from entering the country; schools, cafes, mosques and public gatherings have also been closed.[50]

On 24 March, the first case in Libya was confirmed.[51]

Madagascar

On 20 March, the three first cases were confirmed in Madagascar. All were women.[52]

Malawi

On 2 April, the three first cases were confirmed in Malawi.[53]

Mali

On 25 March, the two first cases were confirmed in Mali.[54]

Mauritania

On 13 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[55]

Mauritius

On 19 March, the first three cases in the country were confirmed.[56]

Morocco

On 2 March, Morocco recorded its first case of COVID-19. It was a Moroccan national residing in Italy who had returned to Morocco.[57]

Mozambique

Namibia

On 14 March, the first two cases in the country were confirmed.[58] In a first reaction by government air travel to and from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany was suspended for 30 days. All public and private schools are also closed for a month, and gatherings are restricted to fewer than 50 people. This includes celebrations for the 30th anniversary of Namibian independence that takes place on 21 March.[59] Libraries, museums, and art galleries were also closed.[60]

On 17 March, President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency as a legal basis to restrict fundamental rights, e.g. to freely move and assemble, guaranteed by the Constitution.[61]

By 25 March 2020 the total number of cases reached seven, of which one is thought to be a local transmission. A 21-day lockdown of the regions of Erongo and Khomas was announced for 27 March with inter-regional travel forbidden, excluding the commuter towns of Okahandja and Rehoboth. Parliament sessions were suspended for the same period, and bars and markets were closed.[62]

Niger

Niger confirmed its first case on 19 March 2020.[63]

Nigeria

On 27 February, Nigeria confirmed its first case, the first case of coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa.[64][65] An Italian citizen who works in Nigeria had returned on 25 February from Milan, Italy through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, fell ill on 26 February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.[66][67][68] The test was confirmed positive by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.[69] He was transferred to the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.[68] On 28 February, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health announced that the Italian man had travelled on Turkish Airlines with a brief transit at Istanbul.[70] As of 6 March, a total of 219 primary and secondary contacts of the index case had been identified and were being actively monitored.[71]

Chloroquine poisoning

An official of Nigeria's Lagos State government has disclosed that hospitals are receiving patients suffering from chloroquine poisoning where people living in Lagos are overusing the drug as a preventive measure to coronavirus. The excessive usage of chloroquine now endangers lives in Lagos State, Nigeria.[72]

Oreoluwa Finnih, a Senior Special Assistant to Lagos governor has thus urged the public to desist from using the anti-malaria drug as a measure of preventing coronavirus infection. In Nigeria reports indicate that the drug's price has been hiked since the news broke. Chloroquine has been gaining traction on social media since some news agencies reported it had been approved for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria

On 21 March 2020, ten (10) new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria were confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria. It was reported that three (3) new cases in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and seven (7) new cases in Lagos State. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to twenty-two (22).[73]

All ten (10) new cases are Nigerian nationals. Nine (9) of them have travel history to the United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Canada and France. They returned to the country in the last one week. The tenth case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case. Meanwhile, on the 18 March 2020, the Federal Republic of Nigeria suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travelers from countries with more than 1,000 cases.[74] The restriction notice was issued three (3) days before the number of cases of COVID-19 raised to ten (10). The restricted countries include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Lock-down measures

The Federal government of Nigeria has instructed institutions to shutdown for 30 days as a lock-down measures and bans to limit the spread of COVID-19. It also banned public gatherings. The state government of Lagos has asked schools to shutdown and banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, particularly religious congregations.[75][76] There was no order from government to shutdown markets and club halls.[citation needed]

Several schools in Nigeria has shutdown, following the directives of the federal government at Abuja. This led the Management of one of the most populated school in Nigeria, the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri to dismiss students against COVID-19, stating that the emergency holiday will last for 30 days. The institution had already fixed the dates for the 2019/2020 academic session examination.[77]

There is much tension in every city in Nigeria as students return to their various homes for fear of contracting COVID-19.

High profiled persons with COVID-19

Reports have shown that some high profiled individuals in Nigeria have tested positive for Coronavirus. The Nigeria's high profiled persons hat have tested positive for COVID-19 are: Buhari's chief of staff, Abba Kyari,[78][79] Bauchi State governor, Bala Muhammed.[80]

As Muhammadu Buhari's closest staff, Nigerians suspected that president would have the virus as his chief of staff tested positive. Meanwhile, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported that president Buhari tested negative after the test was carried out on him.[81]

In Nigeria, there are fears everywhere that the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari who has tested positive for the coronavirus virus may have transmitted it to more people including Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu; Minister of Special Duties, George Akume; Minister of State for FCT, Ramatu Tijani; Geoffrey Onyeama, and other dignitaries and visitors at the prayers held on March 17, 2020 for the deceased mother of the Kogi State Governor.[79]

The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello was tested positive for Coronavirus. Others from the list who met with Abba Kyari are still under examination to be ascertained if they are negative or positive to the virus.[82]

Rwanda

On 14 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[83]

Senegal

On 2 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[84]

Seychelles

Seychelles reported its first two cases on 14 March. The two cases were people who were in contact with someone in Italy who tested positive.[85]

Sierra Leone

On 16 March, the government banned public officials from travelling abroad, and urged citizens to avoid foreign travel.[86][87] Quarantine measures are in place for all visitors arriving from countries with more than 50 cases.[86] Public gatherings of more than 100 people have also been banned.[86] On 24 March, President Julius Maada Bio announced a year-long 'state of emergency' in order to deal with a potential outbreak.[88]

The president of Sierra Leone confirmed the country's first case of coronavirus on 31 March, a person who traveled from France on 16 March and had been in isolation since.[89]

Spain (Canary Islands)

Somalia

On 16 March, the first case in Somalia was confirmed.[49] Somalia's Health Ministry reported that a Somali citizen was returning home from China.[90]

Somaliland

On 31 March, the first two cases in Somaliland was confirmed. The two cases were Somaliland citizen and Chinese national.[91]

South Africa

On 5 March the first confirmed case was announced, returning from Italy[92] On 15 March 2020, South Africa declared a national state of disaster.[49] On 23 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a national lockdown lasting 21 days from 26 March 2020.[93]

Sudan

The country's first case was announced on 13 March, a man who died in Khartoum on 12 March. He had visited the United Arab Emirates in the first week of March., later it was revealed that the man died because of malaria not Covid-19.[94]

Tanzania

On 16 March, the first case was confirmed.[49]

Togo

On 6 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[95]

Tunisia

On 2 March, the first case in the country was confirmed.[96][97]

As of 28 March, Tunisia currently has 227 confirmed cases.

Uganda

On 20 March, the first case in Uganda was confirmed.[36][98]

Zambia

Zambia reported its first 2 cases of COVID-19 on 18 March. The patients were a couple that had travelled to France on holiday.[99] A third case was recorded on 22 March. The patient was a man who had travelled to Pakistan.[100]

On March 25, President Edgar Lungu confirmed a total of 12 cases during a live national address. He also announced measures which includes suspension of international flights Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and Mfuwe International Airports and re-routing of all international flights to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to facilitate screening of incoming passengers and mandatory quarantine where necessary, closure of all bars, nightclubs, casinos, cinemas and gyms and restriction of all public gatherings to 50 people or less.[101]

As of 17 March, the government has shut all educational institutions and put in place some restrictions on foreign travel.[102]

Zimbabwe

Before there were any confirmed cases in the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared a national emergency, putting in place travel restrictions and banning large gatherings.[103][104] The country's defence minister Oppah Muchinguri caused controversy by stating the coronavirus could be a divine punishment on Western nations for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe.[105]

Its first case came from a male resident of Victoria Falls who travelled from the United Kingdom via South Africa on 15 March. As of 27 March there are 7 confirmed cases in Zimbabwe and 1 death.

Suspected cases

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

On 16 March three people who arrived by air to Ascension Island showed symptoms of COVID-19.[106] There is no test equipment on the island but these are isolated at home for 14 days.[citation needed]

On 17 March all travel by air to the Saint Helena island was banned, except for island citizens or residents and similar cases.[107] There were no known cases on Saint Helena at this time.[108]

On 16 March as a precaution the Tristan da Cunha Island Council on Tristan da Cunha made the decision to ban visitors to the island to prevent the potential transmission of the disease to islanders.[109]

Prevention in other countries

Comoros

As of 27 March there have been no reported cases in Comoros. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the government has cancelled all incoming flights and banned large gatherings.[110]

Lesotho

As of 27 March there have been no reported cases in Lesotho, but the country doesn't have the ability to test for the virus.[111] In order to prevent the spread of the virus the government has closed its border with South Africa.[112] On March 18, the government declared a national emergency despite having no confirmed cases, and closed schools until April 17 (but allowed school meals to continue). Arriving travelers were to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.[111] Prime Minister Thomas Thabane announced a three-week lock down, commencing from midnight 29 March.[113]

São Tomé and Príncipe

As of 27 March there have been no reported cases in São Tomé and Príncipe. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the government has put in place various travel restrictions and quarantining measures.[114]

South Sudan

As of 27 March there have been no reported cases in South Sudan. On 16 March President Salva Kiir announced a temporary ban on all social and other large gatherings, restrictions on foreign travel, and a 14-day quarantine for all visitors entering the country.[115][116] From 24 March all international flights have been temporarily suspended and the country's land borders closed.[117] A night-time curfew is also currently in place.[118]

See also

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