26 countries in Africa report COVID-19 cases –WHO

WHO chief, Tedros Ghebrelyesus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says there are now 273 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Africa in 26 countries and there have been six COVID-19-related deaths.

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

The agency said Government of Benin had on Monday confirmed the country’s first case of COVID-19.

According to agency, the patient is 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.”

WHO, however, gave the breakdown of confirmed cases in the continent as follows:

“Algeria 48, South Africa 51, Senegal 24, Cameroon 3, Nigeria 2, Burkina Faso 7, Togo 1, DRC 3, Cote d’Ivoire 5, Ghana 2, Gabon 1,

“Kenya 3, Ethiopia 4, Guinea 1, Rwanda 5, Namibia 2, E Guinea 1, Seychelles 2, CAR 1, Congo 1, Mauritania 1, Eswatini 1, Liberia 1, Egypt 110, Morocco 28, Tunisia 18, Sudan 1.’’

Meanwhile, 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.