More than 150,000 people have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Africa and over 4,300 of them have died, according to a count kept by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All 54 African nations have reported COVID-19 cases and around half have detected community transmission of the virus, concentrated mainly in major cities. South Africa has, by far, the highest number of diagnosed cases — more than 34,000 — while Egypt has the largest death toll — over 1,000, according to the Africa CDC.
However, the World Health Organization says Africa remains the least-affected region globally in terms of the number of reported cases and fatalities. The continent of 1.3 billion people has just 1.5% of the world’s reported cases and less than 0.1% of the world’s deaths.
“Of course, these numbers don’t paint the full picture,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva last week. “Testing capacity in Africa is still being ramped up and there is a likelihood that some cases may be missed.”
“But even so, Africa appears to have so far been spared the scale of outbreaks we have seen in other regions,” he added. “Africa’s knowledge and experience of suppressing infectious diseases has been critical to rapidly scaling up an agile response to COVID-19.”