The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to grow in the WHO African Region since it was first detected in Algeria on 25 February 2020. Since our last External Situation Report 17 issued on 24 June 2020 (from 24 to 30 June 2020), a total of 67 077 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (a 28% increase) was reported from 45 countries. Of the 67 077 reported new cases in the region, 43% (45 101) were recorded in South Africa. South Africa remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region, consistently registering the highest daily case incidence, now standing at more than 6 000 cases daily in the past week. On 27 June 2020, the WHO African Region and South Africa recorded their highest daily case count of 10 421 and 7 210, respectively. The WHO African region also recorded the highest daily death toll of 172 on 30 June 2020.
During this period, six countries in the region observed the highest percentage increase in incidence cases: Seychelles 636% (from 11 to 81 cases), Zambia 213% (from 509 to 1 594 cases), Namibia 182% (from 72 to 203 cases), Botswana 155% (from 89 to 227 cases), Malawi 58% (from 803 to 1 265 cases) and Angola 50% (from 189 to 284 cases). Seychelles reported new confirmed COVID-19 cases after 78 consecutive days of zero reporting. The confirmed case-patients were part of 207 sea crew arriving on two Air Seychelles chartered flights. Eleven crewmen turned positive on antibody test, of which three tested positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on 24 June 2020. This event occurred just as the Government was considering opening up commercial flights and tourism from 1 July 2020. Only Equatorial Guinea and United Republic of Tanzania did not officially submit reports indicating any confirmed cases in the past week. A total of 26 new health worker infections were recorded from three countries: Malawi (18), Sierra Leone (5) and South Sudan (3).
From 24 to 30 June 2020, an additional 898 COVID-19 related deaths (17% increase) were reported from 31 countries, with 62% (555) of the deaths recorded in South Africa. This was followed by Nigeria, which registered the second highest number of deaths, at 57, followed by Algeria with 51 deaths. The other countries that reported new deaths include; Democratic Republic of the Congo (35), Ethiopia (28), Senegal (23), Kenya (20), Ghana (17), Mauritania (16), Central African Republic (10), Benin (8), Côte d'Ivoire (8), Cabo Verde (7), Zambia (6), Cameroon (5), Madagascar (5), Mali (5), Malawi (5), Sierra Leone (5), Guinea-Bissau (5), Congo (4), Eswatini (4), Guinea (4), Angola (3), Gabon (3), South Sudan (3), Liberia (2), Mozambique (1), Sao Tome and Principe (1) and Zimbabwe (2).
During the reporting period (24 to 30 June 2020), the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the region exceeded 300 000, and is now at 303 986 cases, including 303 665 confirmed and 321 probable cases, reported across the 47 Member States. The probable cases have been reported from Sao Tome and Principe (320) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (1). A total of 6 155 deaths have been reported in 42 countries, giving an overall case fatality ratio (CFR) of 2.0%. Five countries (Eritrea, Seychelles, Lesotho, Namibia and Uganda) have not registered any COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
The current figures in the region represents 2.9% of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1.2% of deaths reported worldwide. Table 1 shows the list of affected countries and their respective number of cases and deaths. The daily and weekly distribution of cases by date and week of reporting are presented in Figures 1 and 2, respectively. The highest number of cases in the region have been reported from 10 countries: South Africa (151 209), Nigeria (25 694), Ghana (17 741), Algeria (13 907), Cameroon (12 592), Côte d’Ivoire (9 214), Democratic Republic of Congo (7 039), Senegal (6 793), Kenya (6 366) and Ethiopia (5 848), which collectively account for 84% (256 401) of all reported cases.
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