The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that since the beginning of the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in Africa, 112 health experts from 16 countries have been infected with the novel virus.
World Health Organisation (WHO) said this in a weekly bulletin on pandemics and other emergencies week 16 which covers April 13 to 19 released on Tuesday and posted on WHO Africa twitter account @WHOAFRO.
This weekly bulletin focuses on public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region.
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 108 events in the Africa Region.
This week’s main articles cover key new and present events, including the novel Coronavirus outbreak in the WHO African Region, Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of Congo and Measles in Democratic Republic in the Congo axis.
According to the report, Cameroon has reported the highest number of Coronavirus confirmed cases of health workers at 25, followed by Niger,13; South Africa,13; Mauritius,11; Cote d’Ivoire, seven; Sierra Leone, 11 and Republic of Congo,4.
The report stated that Democratic Republic of Congo has reported 10 confirmed cases of health workers, Togo , six; Madagascar, five; Namibia, two and Benin, Central African Republic, Eswatini,Guinea-Bissau, and Kenya recorded one case each.
According to the bulletin, 96 per cent, representing 45 countries in the WHO African Region have been infected by the ongoing Coronavirus worldwide outbreak, with no record of any case in Comoros and Lesotho .
Since week-9 of 2020 (week ending Feb. 25), when the pandemic was earlier detected in Africa region, a marked increase in number of infected cases has been noticed.
In week sixteen, (week ending April 19), a sum total of 4,405 new confirmed reported cases were reported, compared to 3,473 cases reported the previous week, a 27% increase in the total number of confirmed cases.
However, there was a 43% increase in the number of deaths, 658 confirmed since the previous week, when 461 deaths were reported and recorded.
As at 19 April 2020, a sum total of 14,068 confirmed Coronavirus cases and 658 associated deaths (case fatality ratio 4.7%) have been reported across 45 countries in the WHO African Region.
The countries mostly affected are: South Africa, 3,158; Algeria, 2,626; Ghana,1,042, Cameroon, 1,016; Cote d’Ivoire, 847; Niger, 648; Burkina Faso, 565 and Nigeria 541 confirmed cases.
These 8 countries account for 74%t of the cases confirmed in the Africa region. Notably, 2 countries (Republic of Congo and Tanzania observed exponential increase in their number of reported cases in week 16.
Tanzania observed increase in number of confirmed cases which increased by 434% from 32 to 171 cases and Republic of Congo by 104% from 70 to 143 cases.
Seven countries Angola, Gambia, Mauritania, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and South Sudan have no new confirmed Coronavirus case during week 1.
The bulletin further stated that 658 deaths occurred in 31 countries.
Six countries in the region have shown very high case fatality ratios: Algeria 14% which 375 deaths out of 2, 629 confirmed cases and Democratic Republic of Congo 8.0% (25/332).
Mali recorded 6.3% fatality ratio (14/224), Burkina Faso 6.4% (36/565), Kenya 5.2% (14/270) and Republic of Congo 4.2% (11/143).
According to the report, the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly in the WHO African Region, with 96% (45/47) of countries being affected.
Only Comoros and Lesotho have no confirmed cases. The cumulative number of confirmed Coronavirus cases are now 14,068 and the number of deaths is frequently increasing, standing at 658, an increase of 43% over the previous week.
The virus is now spreading from the capital cities to the inter-land, with most countries in the Africa region experiencing local transmission, and a few progressing to community transmission.
Most countries are enforcing lockdown measures of various types, with varying degree of societal impact.
To curtail this outbreak from further spreading within the region, it is very important that all governments and stakeholders hold-up to implementing strong public health response:
“Physical social distancing, regular handwashing, searching cases, observing care and self-isolation, contact tracing and isolation,’’ he stated.
In addition, WHO emphasised that the pandemic of this novel Coronavirus had increased to most countries in the WHO African Region, with an associated upsurge in the number of cases and deaths in the past few weeks.
The agency said that alot of countries are now experiencing local transmission, with a few beginning to see widespread community transmission.
Meticulous efforts are needed to curtail the spread.
WHO carried-on to advise all countries in the region to scale up their public health response measures aimed to halt further spread of the novel virus.
In areas with widespread or potential widespread transmission, countries will need to swiftly adapt mitigation measures to curtail the impact of the outbreak.