These are the 50 African Countries That Have Reported Cases of Coronavirus
Here's an updated country-by-country break down of coronavirus' presence in Africa.
Burundi recently confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus. Now the 48th African country to confirm the presence of the coronavirus outbreak, the total number of confirmed cases on the continent has now risen to close to 6000 with at least 201 reported deaths.
While Burundi had already put in place travel restrictions, Human Rights Watch has expressed concerns around authorities disseminating information that is not fact-based.
Botswana, on the other hand, has now reported its first death from coronavirus. The death came shortly after the Southern African country announced its first three cases. As with several other African countries, Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced a state of emergency and has now enforced a 28-day national lockdown which will prevent citizens from leaving their homes except for essential services.
Yesterday, Nigeria began its 14-day lockdown of key cities including Lagos and Abuja as part of government's efforts to prevent the spread of the outbreak in the heavily-populated cities.
South Africa is now on the sixth day of its 21-day national lockdown. The number of confirmed coronavirus has risen to 1353 with 5 reported deaths thus far. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize described the trajectory of the outbreak in the country saying, "The rate of increase in the numbers is not as much as anticipated. Our modelling already shows that we are falling behind the number we thought we would reach." Mkhize added, "The figures we thought we would reach by the end of April was between 4,000 – 5,000, but I don't think we will get there."
Botswana now becomes the 47th African country to confirm the presence of coronavirus.
Yesterday, Botswana's Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Lemogang Kwape, announced in a televised address that three nationals had tested positive for the corononavirus and were being quarantined at the Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital. Dr Kwape said, "We have now moved from prevention to containment," and added that, "In the past we have preached prevention but now that we have cases, we have moved to prevention and containment at the same time."
South Africa, on the other hand, is currently on a 21-day national lockdown which forms part of the government's efforts to contain the outbreak and begin to flatten the curve. However, South Africans on social media are increasingly calling out the alleged police brutality targeting Black people. One man has already died allegedly at the hands of law enforcement officials who were reportedly enforcing restrictions of the lockdown in the Vosloorus, Johannesburg area. Additionally, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that mass screening for coronavirus would begin soon.
The Ugandan government announced a 14-day lockdown yesterday. President Yoweri Museveni declared, "Except for cargo planes, lorries, pickups and trains, starting on March 31 at 19h00 hours, there will be a curfew throughout the whole of Uganda." The East African country, which has already put in place strict travel restrictions, has 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus thus far with no reported deaths.
Following the death of popular Zimbabwean media personality and broadcaster, Zororo Makamba, Zimbabwe has also put in place a 21-day national lockdown. However, due to the country's struggling economy, hyper-inflation and food shortages due to a long-standing drought, many Zimbabweans fear that they will starve in their homes during the lockdown.
According to BBC Africa's coronavirus in Africa tracker, there are close to 5,000 cases across the continents. The death toll has reached 161, while 284 have recovered. Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Sudan, and Western Sahara are the nine countries which have not recorded cases of the virus.
South Africa, where there have been 1,280 cases as of Monday—the most in Sub-Saharan Africa—is currently on nationwide lockdown. As a result, citizens have been ordered to stay at home for three weeks. A curfew has been set across Algeria, where 25 people have died from COVID-19.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has announced initiatives to help the country's poor, including food provisions. Rwanda has the highest number of cases in the East Africa region. Kenya recorded its first coronavirus related death over the weekend. Curfews have been set in place across the country, and over the weekend Kenyan police were accused of using excessive force to clear the streets ahead of curfew, after they fired tear gas at a group of commuters in Mombasa. Several human rights organizations have condemned their actions.
Nigeria's President Buhari announced new funding for Lagos State, where the majority of coronavirus cases in the country have occurred. The number of confirmed cases reached 65 over the weekend, while Nigerians on Twitter mocked the president, who many believe has been slow to address the country during the pandemic. The #BuhariChallenge began in response to a picture showing Buhari "still at work," during the outbreak. People have responded by sarcastically sharing old pictures with captions claiming that they recently occurred. Here are a few examples:
Zimbabwe's first coronavirus casualty occurred on Monday, when it was announced that popular broadcaster and media personality Zororo Makamba had succumbed to the virus, he was 30.
Makamba was the son of politician and former broadcaster James Makamba, and was known for his talk show Tonight With Zororo which began in 2015. Tributes have been pouring out in remembrance of the young broadcaster.
Nelson Mandela's grandson Ndaba Mandela has announced that he has also tested positive for coronavirus. The author shared the news via his Instagram page, stating that he was taking the diagnoses seriously, after being accused of not doing so in an earlier post.
In an update post shared on Sunday, he urged people to take the necessary precautions, but to not "stress" over the virus, saying: "This is a very serious situation, and I don't take it lightly for a second. However, when you've gone through so much in life, I know, for example, that stressing is not going to make a difference. So, I urge you not to stress. I urge you not to get anxiety."
South Africa currently has 402 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa is steadily rising. While the continent had just over 100 cases a few weeks ago, the total now stands at over 900, according to estimates by the Anadolu Agency.
Zimbabwe, Uganda, Eritrea, Madagascar and Angola are now among the latest African countries to confirm their first coronavirus case.
The governments of various African countries continue to implement preventive measures as part of efforts to contain the growing outbreak.
Rwanda, which now has a total of 17 confirmed coronavirus cases, announced that it would be suspending "unnecessary movements and visits outside the home" in what are arguably the toughest measures that have been put into effect thus far in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Similarly, Nigerian authorities have ordered almost 70 percent of the workforce in Lagos to stay home for a period of 14 days in addition to advising civilians to stay away from all government offices and to instead make use of online or telephonic modes of communication.
While South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be following the stringent social distancing measures recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the country has been struggling to prevent an increase in its existing number of coronavirus cases. Recently, South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed that there are now 402 cases after an increase of 128 occurred in just a day.
The global number of coronavirus cases now stands at well over 350 000 with at least 15 000 deaths. While a number of European countries including the UK, France and Italy remain hard-hit, in addition to North America and the Middle East, China is seeing a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases with new cases now being reported as imported from other countries.
UPDATE 3/19: The number of African countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak remains at 33. While it is thought that Angola has registered its first case, no major news publications have as yet verified the claim.
Yesterday however, did see Sub-Saharan Africa register its first death. According to AfricaNews, Burkina Faso's Vice President of Parliament Rose Marie Compaore, was the first patient with coronavirus to pass away. Martial Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso's COVID-19 response coordinator, released a statement following Compaore's death saying, "This tragic event calls us all to recognise the scale and seriousness of the problem which confronts us all. This is a very contagious illness that is potentially fatal and that for now has no treatment aside from prevention."
Head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has put the governments of African countries on blast saying, "Africa should wake up." Ghebreyesus also added that, "In other countries we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point."
Travel restrictions have been put in place by a number of African countries already including South Africa, Uganda, Algeria, Kenya and several others. Kenya has recently paused religious gatherings in churches and mosques in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Five major churches in the country are set to livestream their Sunday services on various social media platforms.
South Africa also recently cancelled its annual Easter pilgrimage to Moria, Limpopo as part of efforts to contain the outbreak. The event ordinarily sees the gathering of approximately 10 million members of the Zion Christ Church (ZCC).
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to rise steadily as various African governments put in place a number of travel restrictions to contain the outbreak.
The Gambia, Djibouti, Benin and Zambia are among the latest countries to confirm the presence of COVID-19.
Djibouti's health ministry confirmed the East African country's first coronavirus case earlier today which reportedly came from a Spanish national who was part of special forces unit that arrived in the country. It is alleged that the unit did not come into contact with any Djiboutians and would be returning to Spain shortly.
News24 reports that Benin reported its first coronavirus case this past Monday. The case came from a man in the neighbouring country of Burkina Faso who had reportedly traveled to Belgium in the weeks past and upon his return, had tested positive.
A few hours ago, The Gambia confirmed its first case of coronavirus. The country's health minister Dr. Ahmadou Samateh confirmed the news in a statement saying, "The Gambia confirms its first case of COVID 19 who's currently in isolation and she is receiving an excellent care at the Medical Research Council (MRC) clinic in Fajara." Zambia on the other hand, recently confirmed two cases of coronavirus which came from individuals travelling from France. The individuals are in quarantine and the country has already closed all schools in an effort to contain the outbreak.
South Africa on the other hand, has now reported 116 cases in total, the second-highest figure after Egypt's 166. Namibia and Zimbabwe have both declared national emergencies as the outbreak spreads within the Southern African region. The latter has, however, not reported any cases as yet.
African countries continue to take precautions amidst the coronavirus outbreak, which has reached 400 confirmed cases across the continent.
Tanzania has closed schools in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, Ivory Coast has places a block on international travel, while Kenya—which currently has four cases—has taken an early economic measure by "slashing the cost of mobile money transfers in a bid to encourage people to go cashless," according to BBC Africa. It is expected that similar measures will be taken in other countries to offset impending economic impact.
Nigeria confirmed a third case of the virus on Monday, after announcing that the first two index cases had been cleared earlier this week. According to BBC Africa, doctors in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja, have gone on strike due to poor pay and unsafe working conditions, which they say has been ongoing since before the outbreak.
Liberia confirmed its second case on Tuesday. The person who tested positive was a domestic worker for the country's first patient: Nathaniel Blama, a government worker who had recently returned from Switzerland. Blama has been suspended from his role following accusations that he failed to follow health protocols related to the virus.
Rwanda remains the most impacted East African country with seven confirmed cases. In Algeria, the outbreak has impacted the current wave of protests in the country. Despite the governments warnings, some have decided to continue with ongoing mass demonstrations.
A number of African countries imposed travel restrictions over the weekend in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. South Africa announced a "state of disaster," banning travel from countries that have been highly-impacted by the disease, including China, France, Italy, Spain, Iran, UK and the US.
Kenya, which has reported three cases of the "COVID-19" coronavirus, also blocked travel from impacted countries, along with Ghana. Algeria, has announced a ban on all travel from Europe beginning on March 19. There are currently 48 confirmed cases in the country.
The East African country of Djibouti, which currently has zero cases, has taken a sweeping preventative measure and restricted all international travel. Morocco which currently has 28 cases, as well as Libya and Tunisia have also closed their borders. Travel by government officailas as well as large gatherings of 300 people or more have also been banned in Mozambique.
According to BBC Africa, the coronavirus is now present in 26 African nations. Tanzania recorded its first case of the coronavirus on Monday morning after a 46-year-old Tanzanian woman, who had traveled to Belgium, tested positive for the virus. The news was confirmed by Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu.
Somalia has also recorded its first case of COVID-19. The patient is a citizen who recently travelled abroad, according to BBC Africa.
Rwanda has now recorded a total of five cases, after four new cases were discovered on Sunday. Each case involves Rwandan nationals. The country currently has the highest number of cases in East Africa, and schools and large gatherings have been cancelled as a result.
The country's president Paul Kagame joined the World Health Organizations (WHO) "Safe Hands" challenge, sharing a video of him washing his hands on Twitter, and challenging other leaders, including Kenya's President Kenyatta and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa and more to participate.
Guinea has now confirmed its first case of coronavirus. It was found in an employee of the European Union (EU) delegation in the country who had recently returned from Europe, reports Reuters. She is currently in self-isolation.
Ethiopia also reported its first case on Friday. According to Takele Uma Banti, the mayor of Addis Ababa, a Japanese citizen in the country tested positive for the virus. This brings the number of African countries with confirmed cases to 16.
In better news, Nigeria's Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, has announced that all "index case of COVID-19" virus in the country have successfully completed their followup periods and will be allowed to rejoin society.
Kenya, Gabon and Ghana are the latest African countries to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Yesterday, the Kenyan government confirmed its first case of coronavirus in a citizen who had returned from the US via London, according to reports by Bloomberg.
Ghana's health ministry confirmed that its first two cases were also imported and had been the result of travellers returning from Turkey and Norway. Meanwhile, the Gabonese government reported that its first case of coronavirus was a traveller who had been returning from France.
Additionally, Senegal has reported five new cases of coronavirus bringing the total number of cases to 10. Algeria, which now has 24 confirmed coronavirus cases, has reported its first death. South Africa, on the other hand, has confirmed 8 new cases of coronavirus bringing its total to 24 as well.
UPDATE 03/12: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the latest African country to confirm the presence of coronavirus.
Yesterday, the DRC's health department reported that a Belgian citizen who had been in the country for a few days, had tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Anadolu Agency. The individual has since been quarantined at a hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa. It is the West African country's first recorded case.
Health Minister Eteni Longondo broke the news saying, "I would like to announce to the Congolese population that we diagnosed this morning the first case of coronavirus." Longondo added that, "It has been discovered in a Belgian national who has come to stay here for a few days."
Senegal, on the other hand, confirmed its fifth case in the city of Touba just a few hours ago, according to News24. A Senegalese national who ordinarily resides in Italy, reportedly visited a doctor in the "holy city" after exhibiting symptoms. The West African country is now currently developing "rapid test kits" which will aim to diagnose coronavirus in just 10 minutes of testing.
Additionally, South Africa's number of confirmed cases has now risen to 17. As of last week Thursday, the number of cases stood at 13 and spanned four provinces including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. However, the first locally transmitted case has now been reported in the Free State province.
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Globally, there are more than 115,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). There have been over 4,000 deaths due to the virus, while around 65,000 people who were infected have recovered. By and large though, Africa has been affected by the virus on a much smaller scale than the continents of Europe, North America and Asia, with just 100 reported across the continent, according to BBC Africa. As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of two deaths have occurred on the continent, one in Egypt and another in Morocco.
While the spread of coronavirus appears to be slowing down in China and South Korea, other countries are seeing an increase in confirmed cases. Italy, where 463 people have died—the most in any country outside of China—is currently on nationwide lockdown due to the outbreak. Iran reported the highest single day toll after 54 people died within 24 hours. The death toll in the United States has reached 27.
Coronavirus' much smaller presence in Africa, however, has caused many observers in the West to scratch their heads, mostly in contempt (and possible envy), as OkayAfrica writer Rufaro Samanga points out in her op-ed Coronavirus: Africa is Not the Center of This Epidemic and the West is Pissed.
This, of course, doesn't mean that African governments don't need to take proper precautions to combat the virus. In fact, many of them already have such procedures in place. "While it may be a better pill to swallow African governments are already leading the way in terms of response efforts and they will continue to show the rest of the world what needs to be done and how," writes Samanga. "Tasked with facing off with an epidemic every so often, many African countries have invariably developed effective strategies over the years to contain, treat and resolve. Quarantine and self-isolation are not foreign concepts to us, but they appear to be for the West."
Nonetheless, there have been confirmed cases in ten countries in Africa. If you want to learn more about coronavirus' presence on the continent, check out the country-by country breakdown below.
At 55, Egypt has recorded the highest number of cases on the continent. The majority of cases came from a group of people who had previously been aboard a Nile cruise ship, reports CNN. The first coronavirus related death on the continent occurred there yesterday, after a German man succumbed to the disease.
The North African country of Algeria has reported 20 cases, but zero fatalities. According to Business Insider, 16 of those cases are from within the same family.
South Africa has a reported seven cases, with four of those cases being confirmed this past Monday. The four new cases are from the same group of ten people that returned to the country after vacationing in Northern Italy in March, according to CNN. Travel bans have been implemented in the nation.
Tunisia has recorded five cases of COVID-19. The government suspended Northern Italy ferry services last week as a preventative measure, reports The New York Times, while football gatherings in the country have also been restricted. Geographically, Tunisia is the closest African country to Italy and flights to the region have been given a separate terminal at Tunis airport.
There have been four confirmed cases in Senegal. There are concerns that religious pilgrimages slated to begin this month, could add to the spread of the virus. A video from Al Jazeera, outlines the lengths that some Senegalese citizens have gone to protect themselves against coronavirus.
Morocco has reported two cases of the virus. According to a recent report from, the Anadolu Agency, the country announced its first COVID-19-related death on Tuedsay morning, after an 89-year-old woman succumbed to the virus. This marks the second coronavirus-related death in Africa.
Cameroon has also reported two cases since the outbreak. The spread has also impacted African nationals living outside of the continent. A piece in BBC Africa, outlines the journey of a 21-year-old Cameroonian student living in Jingzhou, China who contracted the virus, but later recovered.
Burkina Faso became the sixth Sub-Saharan African nation to report cases of the virus on Monday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to Gulf News Africa, the two people affected were a husband and wife who had recently returned from France.
There have been two confirmed cases in Africa's most populous country. It was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to be hit by the virus, after an Italian man traveling to Lagos tested positive, according to a report from Reuters via Citizen Digital. There have been zero fatalities so far. As a recent story from Quartz points out, it is the spread of the viral Lassa disease in Nigeria that poses a more significant threat in the country at this time.
Togo reported its first and only case of COVID-19 last week. A 42-year-old woman who had previously traveled to several countries in Europe contracted the coronavirus, and was subsequently placed in isolation. She is believed to be in stable condition, according to a report from Reuters.
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