26 African countries have coronavirus cases: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, said there are now Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 26 African countries and there have been six COVID-19-related deaths.

The UN health agency said this in its regional official twitter account @WHOAFRO.

The agency said Government of Benin on Monday confirmed the country’s first case of COVID-19, a 49-year-old male of Burkinabe nationality, who entered Benin on March 12.

“Over the weekend, Central African Republic, Eswatini, Rep of Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles announced first cases.”

Egypt has 166 coronavirus cases, the highest in Africa. It is followed by South Africa, with 64 cases, Algeria 60, Tunisia 20, Senegal 24, Cameroon 3.

WHO however reported two cases for Nigeria, when the Nigerian authorities said only one case, the first index case of a man from Milan, Italy remains.

Burkina Faso has 7 cases, Togo 1, DRC 3, Cote d’Ivoire 5, Ghana 2, Gabon 1,Kenya 3, Ethiopia 4, Guinea 1, Rwanda 5, Namibia 2, Equatorial Guinea 1, Seychelles 2, CAR 1, Congo 1, Mauritania 1, Eswatini 1, Liberia 1, Sudan 1.’’

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said “With COVID-19 officially declared a pandemic, all countries in Africa must act.

“Every country can still change the course of this pandemic by scaling up their emergency preparedness or response.

“Cases may still be low in Africa and we can keep it that way with robust all-of-government actions to fight the new coronavirus.”

According to her, containment remains the most appropriate strategy for African countries.

Apart from South Africa and Algeria – which have clusters of transmission linked to imported cases – the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa are sporadic importations from European countries, mainly Italy, France, Germany and Spain.

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