Less than two months after Egypt became the first country in Africa to confirm a coronavirus case, the outbreak appears to have reached almost every nation on the continent of 1.2 billion people.
Of Africa’s 54 countries, only five have yet to report a case of the virus: Comoros, Lesotho, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi and South Sudan.
More than 200 people on the world’s second-most populous continent have died from the virus, including the former president of the Republic of the Congo, Jacques Joachim Yhombi-Opango, and Somalia’s former prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein. At least 5,820 people have been infected with 441 recovered from the virus.
Experts warn fragile healthcare systems in many African could be overwhelmed in the face of a severe outbreak of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
In March, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), called on African leaders to take seriously the threat from the virus.
“Africa should wake up, my continent should wake up,” the Ethiopian, the WHO’s first African head, said.
Countries are rushing to stem the spread of the disease. According to WHO, only two countries could carry out COVID-19 tests at the beginning of the outbreak. Six weeks later, 47 countries can perform the test.
Most nations have shut their borders, closed schools and banned public gatherings to combat the virus.
To help the continent cope with the pandemic, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister, called on G20 countries to extend Africa a $150bn aid package.
Below is an interactive map tracking all the coronavirus cases in Africa.