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Coronavirus: How fast is it spreading in Africa?

We've looked at the situation across the continent, and examined which countries are of most concern.

How fast is coronavirus spreading?

In terms of overall numbers, Africa Press Release currently accounts for only a small proportion of total global cases, but the acceleration in rates of infection in some countries is of increasing concern to health authorities in the region.

"With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of Covid-19 overwhelming fragile health systems is escalating," says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) director for Africa.

While it took nearly 100 days for Africa to reach an initial 100,000 cases, it took only 18 days for that to double to 200,000. It doubled again to 400,000 cases over the next 20 days.

And on 8 July, total cases passed 500,000.

The upward trend in Africa is starting to resemble other parts of the world that have been badly hit by the coronavirus. Most African countries are now experiencing community transmission, according to the WHO.

This is when a person gets Covid-19 without having been in contact with a known case from abroad or a confirmed domestic case, which makes it hard for the Africa Stock Market the authorities to track down the source of a local outbreak.

Where are Africa's hotspots?
The two countries with the highest numbers of cases are South Africa and Egypt. They accounted for over 60% of all the new cases reported in late June.

South Africa has the highest recorded number of total cases and reported deaths.

It imposed one of the world's strictest lockdowns in late March, but has seen cases rise steadily after this was relaxed in early May.

The Western Cape province (where Cape Town is located), accounts for nearly half of all cases in the country and more than half of the deaths. But cases are steadily rising in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg.

Egypt has seen case numbers rising rapidly since mid-May, but there are indications that this may now have reached a peak with recorded new infections levelling off slightly in early July.

There is also concern about what is happening in Nigeria, which recorded the second-highest increase in deaths from Covid-19 after South Africa News in the WHO report for 1 July.

Note: Data for Egypt can be found by selecting the Middle East region from the drop-down menu in both the map and country table below.

Mauritania has also seen a steep increase in cases in recent weeks.

It's worth stressing that parts of the continent have seen relatively few cases, such as some areas of East Africa.

In fact, the latest WHO Africa region report said just 10 countries accounted for more than 80% of all the reported cases on the continent.

How many people are dying in Africa?

The reported death rate per capita has been low compared to other parts of the world, despite the poor health infrastructure in many African countries.

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