Data disclaimer

The data report utilizes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Visual Dashboard dataset that is operated by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE). This dataset is updated daily and thus the numbers that are reported here may not reflect the latest case count in your country or region.

This report is intended for research purposes only. As is. The report is written and compiled by a group of virologist, epidemiologist and clinicians associated with the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in collaboration with other scientist from South Africa and the rest of the African continent. This report is not intended for media publication, nor is it intended to serve as a source of information for the general public. It is strictly for educational, research and academic purposes. We urge members of the press and general public to head the advise of the World Health Organization (WHO), the South African Department of Health (SA DoH) or the advise laid down by youโ€™re the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

This report will be updated every day to keep track with the increasing numbers of cases. Please visit the site regularly for continued updates.

Short epidemic update

Africa has been relatively slow to report COVID-19 cases compared to other regions of the world. The first reported case on the continent was documented in Egypt on the 14th of February 2020. This case was linked to international travel of a Chinese national to Egypt 1. Algeria became the second country on the African continent to report a case of the virus on the 25th of February 2020. This case was linked to an Italian national who had travel to Algeria 2.

However, the vast majority of cases on the continent have been reported since the start of the month of March 2020. As of the writing of this report, a total of 780 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported in 34 different countries and/or territories. A total of 180 new infections have been recorded on the continent on the 19th of March. The most severely effected countries are: Egypt (n=256), South Africa (n=150), Algeria (n=87), Morocco (n=63) and Senegal (n=31).

Regional updates

The spread of the virus across the continent is not homogenous, with the bulk of infections concentrated in the North African region and in South Africa (excluding the rest of Southern African). Central, West and East Africa has reported relatively few infections to date.

North Africa

For the purpose of this report the North Africa region include the following countries and/or territories: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara.

The North African region has been the most severely effected region on the African continent with the bulk of cases reported in Egypt (n=256). The high number of cases reported in this region could primarily be attributed to its close proximity to other epidemic centers in Europe and the Middle East. To date, a total of 447 laboratory confirmed cases have been documented with 65 new cases being reported in the last 97 hours.

Index cases in most countries in this region were linked to international travel, but more and more community transmissions are being recorded (particularly in Egypt and Algeria).