Coronavirus in Africa, Less Deadly than Elsewhere in the World

Politicians and medical experts, at first, feared that Africa would be deadly hit by the coronavirus pandemic during the first half of 2020. With its large population and fragile health systems, Africa has recorded the lowest cases compared to other regions.

Many African countries have been praised for waging an effective campaign to combat the spread of coronavirus despite their reputation for having fragile state health systems.

During the first week of October, more than 19, 100 confirmed coronavirus cases were registered in Africa, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa.

The overall number of Covid-19 cases in Africa currently stands at 1,489,197, with 19,142 cases confirmed during the first week. The number of coronavirus-associated deaths amounts to 36,085, with 531 fatalities. More than 1.2 million patients have recovered.

South Africa accounts for the biggest number of Africa’s coronavirus cases and fatalities – 676,084 and 16,866, respectively. Egypt is second after South Africa in terms of coronavirus-associated deaths and cases – 5,946 and 103,317, respectively. As many as 1,741 coronavirus-related deaths were reported from Algeria.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is second after South Africa in terms of coronavirus cases (59,001 cases and 1,112 fatalities). Next is Ghana (46,656 cases and 301 deaths).

The continent, which has a population of approximate 1.5 billion, has had about 1.5 million cases, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University.

Africa has recorded about 37,000 deaths, compared with roughly 580,000 in the Americas, 230,000 in Europe, and 205,000 in Asia. These figures are far lower than in Europe, Asia or the Americas, with reported cases continuing to decline.

The case-fatality ratio (CFR) for Covid-19 in Africa is lower than the global CFR, suggesting the outcomes have been less severe among African populations,” noted a recent continental study by Partnership for Evidence-based Response to Covid-19 (PERC), which brings together a number of private and public organizations.

According to the latest statistics, over 34,508,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 1,028,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 25,684,670 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.