Reported COVID-19 cases in countries across Africa are growing at divergent rates, with a number of countries showing declines in infection rates while others are climbing. The graphic above, showing the change in reported cases from July 11 to August 20, is from a report from Economics for Transformation.
The variance in case counts is due to different population sizes, as well as the degree of urbanization and mobility in each country. Further, areas in Africa may have different health systems and COVID-19 testing capacities that could affect the reported number of cases: “The number of confirmed cases … should be assumed to be a large underestimate of the true picture of infection in SSA,” according to the report.
COVID-19 hit Africa later than most other regions — it announced its first case a month after Italy’s first case and two weeks after the U.S.’s first case. Africa’s response to the pandemic was quicker and more comprehensive than any other region globally, but it is still at risk of multiple economic challenges that could lead to long-lasting impacts on all sectors, including tourism and its burgeoning manufacturing industry.