COVID-19 in African Countries versus other World Regions: A Review

Amadu J. Kaba, Andzi Nkweti Kaba


This review examines the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Africa. By May 15, 2020, while the COVID-19 infections were 1,741,129 in Europe, 1,632,167 in North America, 757,924 in Asia, 401,072 in South America, there were only 79,780 infections in Africa, a continent with 1.34 billion people. During this same date, of the total COVID-19 deaths of 308,154 worldwide, Europe accounted for 160,482 (52.1%) deaths; North America accounted for 99,633 (32.3%) deaths; Asia accounted for 23,963 (7.8%) deaths; South America accounted for 21,303 (6.9%) deaths; and Africa accounted for only 2,639 (0.9%) deaths.  Among the factors cited for this phenomenon (Africa’s low figures) are: low volumes of international tourism to most African nations; a relatively young African population, with 533.5 (39.8%) million under the age of 15; low obesity rates in Africa; low rates of urbanization in most African nations; hot or high temperatures and high humidity in most African nations; low levels of testing, which continues to be the case in countries all across the world and proactive measures by African governments and people to slow the spread of the coronavirus. It is recommended that African countries continue to pursue proactive measures such as use of facemasks, hand sanitizers, regular hand washing and immediate partial or full lockdown when necessary. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020 (Special Edition); 24[2]: 125-141).

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