Severity: Warning Alert

Health: Additional countries in Sub-Saharan Africa report COVID-19 cases during early April. Maintain basic health precautions.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Congo
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Eswatini (Swaziland)
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Seychelles
  • Victoria

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 02:18 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 Apr 2020 03:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Cases of coronavirus disease, local transmission
  • Location(s): Sub-Saharan Africa (map)
  • Period: February-April 2020

Summary
Several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa report imported cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some with human-to-human community transmission. On April 1, the WHO reported the first known cases of COVID-19 in Botswana, Burundi, and Sierra Leone. Some countries provide more detailed location information than others. The following countries have identified COVID-19 cases according to data through April 1:

Countries reporting community transmission:

  • South Africa: 1,353 cases among Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape provinces.
  • Burkina Faso: 261 cases; some in Ouagadougou
  • Reunion: 247 cases
  • Senegal: 175 cases; some in Dakar
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 169 cases; some in Abidjan
  • Ghana: 152 cases
  • Mauritius: 143 cases
  • Cameroon: 139 cases; some in Yaounde
  • Nigeria: 111 cases
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 109 cases; some in Kinshasa
  • Mayotte: 101 cases
  • Rwanda: 75 cases
  • Madagascar: 53 cases
  • Kenya: 50 cases
  • Zambia: 35 cases
  • Togo: 34 cases
  • Uganda: 33 cases
  • Ethiopia: 26 cases, some in Addis Ababa
  • Niger: 20 cases
  • Mali: 18 cases
  • Guinea: 16 cases
  • Equatorial Guinea: 14 cases
  • Mozambique: 8 cases
  • Zimbabwe: 8 cases; at least one case in Victoria Falls
  • Liberia: 3 cases


Countries where community transmission has not been determined:

  • Republic of Congo: 19 cases
  • Tanzania: 19 cases
  • Namibia: 11 cases
  • Benin: 9 cases
  • Eswatini: 9 cases
  • Guinea-Bissau: 9 cases
  • Seychelles: 8 cases
  • Angola: 7 cases, some in Luanda
  • Chad: 7 cases
  • Gabon: 7 cases
  • Sudan: 7 cases; at least one case in Khartoum
  • Central African Republic: 6 cases; at least one case in Bangui
  • Eritrea: 6 cases
  • Cape Verde: 5 cases; at least one case in the island of Boa Vista
  • Mauritania: 5 cases
  • Somalia: 5 cases
  • Gambia: 3 cases
  • Botswana: 3 cases
  • Burundi: 2 cases
  • Sierra Leone: 1 case



Background and Analysis
Officials may add additional cases and locations to this list at any time as disease surveillance and testing continues. The US CDC maintains a "Warning-Level 3" travel health notice due to global COVID-19 transmission. This is the highest warning level and indicates authorities recommend avoiding nonessential travel. It is recommended that travelers avoid any contact with ill individuals and frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (minimum 60 percent alcohol) should be used. Following international travel, all travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning home, monitor their health, practice social distancing, and avoid interaction with ill individuals.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission is occurring, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO advice for international travel

WHO coronavirus knowledge base

US CDC Global COVID-19 Travel Health Notice

WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

US CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Public Health England: Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak

US CDC: Manage Anxiety and Stress