Rapid communication Open Access


For 45 African countries/territories already reporting COVID-19 cases before 23 March 2020, we estimate the dates of reporting 1,000 and 10,000 cases. Assuming early epidemic trends without interventions, all 45 were likely to exceed 1,000 confirmed cases by the end of April 2020, with most exceeding 10,000 a few weeks later.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Geneva: WHO; 30 Jan 2020. [Accessed 3 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)
  2. World Health Organization (WHO). WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020. Geneva: WHO; 11 March 2020. [Accessed 3 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) Situation report – 93. Geneva: WHO; [Accessed 3 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200422-sitrep-93-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=35cf80d7_4
  4. World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) Situation report – 63. Geneva: WHO; [Accessed 3 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200323-sitrep-63-covid-19.pdf
  5. Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, Liang WH, Ou CQ, He JX, et al. , China Medical Treatment Expert Group for Covid-19. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(18):1708-20.  https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2002032  PMID: 32109013 
  6. Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. JAMA. 2020;323(13):1239.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.2648  PMID: 32091533 
  7. Mizumoto K, Kagaya K, Zarebski A, Chowell G. Estimating the asymptomatic proportion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, Yokohama, Japan, 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(10).  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.10.2000180  PMID: 32183930 
  8. Prasad N, Murdoch DR, Reyburn H, Crump JA. Etiology of Severe Febrile Illness in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. PLoS One. 2015;10(6):e0127962.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127962  PMID: 26126200 
  9. Masanza MM, Nqobile N, Mukanga D, Gitta SN. Laboratory capacity building for the International Health Regulations (IHR[2005]) in resource-poor countries: the experience of the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET). BMC Public Health. 2010;10(Suppl 1):S8.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-10-S1-S8  PMID: 21143830 
  10. Abbott S, Hellewell J, Munday J, Funk S, CMMID nCoV working group. The transmissibility of novel Coronavirus in the early stages of the 2019-20 outbreak in Wuhan: Exploring initial point-source exposure sizes and durations using scenario analysis. Wellcome Open Res. 2020;5:17.  https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15718.1  PMID: 32322691 
  11. Bi Q, Wu Y, Mei S, Ye C, Zou X, Zhang Z, et al. Epidemiology and transmission of COVID-19 in 391 cases and 1286 of their close contacts in Shenzhen, China: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020;S1473-3099(20)30287-5. PMID: 32353347 
  12. Davies NG, Kucharski AJ, Eggo RM, Gimma A, Edmunds WJ, CMMID COVID-19 Working Group, et al. The effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 cases, deaths and demand for hospital services in the UK: a modelling study. medRxiv. 2020.04.01.20049908; (Preprint). https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.01.20049908.
  13. Funk S. bpmodels: Methods for analysing the sizes and lengths of chains from branching process models. 2020. Available from: https://github.com/sbfnk/bpmodels
  14. Brown E. data2019nCov: Data on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (R Package). 2020. Available from: https://github.com/eebrown/data2019nCoV/
  15. Hellewell J, Abbott S, Gimma A, Bosse NI, Jarvis CI, Russell TW, et al. , Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases COVID-19 Working Group. Feasibility of controlling COVID-19 outbreaks by isolation of cases and contacts. Lancet Glob Health. 2020;8(4):e488-96.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30074-7  PMID: 32119825 
  16. World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) Situation report – 78. Geneva: WHO; [Accessed 3 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200407-sitrep-78-covid-19.pdf
  17. ACAPS. COVID-19 Government Measures. 22 Apr 2020. [Accessed 22 Apr 2020]. Available from: https://data.humdata.org/dataset/acaps-covid19-government-measures-dataset
  18. Hale T, Webster S, Petherick A, Phillips T, Kira B. Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. Blavatnik School of Government; 2020.

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error