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
  • South Sudan

This alert began 07 Apr 2020 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 Apr 2020 23:59 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 6, the WHO reported the first known cases of COVID-19 in South Sudan. Some countries provide more detailed location information than others. The following countries have identified COVID-19 cases according to data through April 7:

Countries reporting community transmission:

  • South Africa: 1,686 cases among Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape provinces.
  • Cameroon: 555 cases; some in Yaounde
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 490 cases; some in Abidjan
  • Burkina Faso: 345 cases; some in Ouagadougou
  • Reunion: 344 cases
  • Nigeria: 232 cases
  • Mauritius: 227 cases
  • Senegal: 226 cases; some in Dakar
  • Ghana: 214 cases
  • Niger: 184 cases
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 161 cases; some in Kinshasa
  • Mayotte: 147 cases
  • Kenya: 142 cases
  • Guinea: 111 cases
  • Rwanda: 102 cases
  • Madagascar: 77 cases
  • Uganda: 48 cases
  • Republic of Congo: 45 cases
  • Togo: 45 cases
  • Ethiopia: 43 cases; some in Addis Ababa
  • Mali: 39 cases
  • Zambia: 39 cases
  • Eritrea: 29 cases
  • Benin: 22 cases
  • Tanzania: 22 cases
  • Equatorial Guinea: 16 cases
  • Namibia: 16 cases
  • Liberia: 13 cases
  • Sudan: 12 cases; at least one case in Khartoum
  • Mozambique: 10 cases
  • Central African Republic: 9 cases; at least one case in Bangui
  • Zimbabwe: 9 cases; at least one case in Victoria Falls
  • Somalia: 7 cases
  • Burundi: 3 cases


Countries where community transmission has not been determined:

  • Gabon: 21 cases
  • Guinea-Bissau: 18 cases
  • Angola: 14 cases; some in Luanda
  • Seychelles: 10 cases
  • Eswatini: 9 cases
  • Chad: 9 cases
  • Mauritania: 6 cases
  • Sierra Leone: 6 cases
  • Cape Verde: 5 cases; at least one case in the island of Boa Vista
  • Gambia: 4 cases
  • Botswana: 4 cases
  • South Sudan: 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 that 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 coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

US CDC: Guidance for Businesses and Employers: www.cdc.gov

US CDC: Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities: www.cdc.gov

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak: www.who.int

US CDC: Manage Anxiety and Stress: www.cdc.gov

US CDC Global COVID-19 Travel Health Notice: wwwnc.cdc.gov

WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19: www.who.int

WHO advice for international travel: www.who.int