COVID-19 has killed 207,000 people in Africa from over 8 million infections, Africa CDC says

The Director of the Africa CDC John Nkengasong on Thursday detailed the coronavirus situation in Africa announcing that over 8 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the continent, accounting for 3.6% of total cases reported globally.

Of that number, over 7.5 million people have recovered, accounting for 92% of the total cases reported in Africa.

Over 207,000 deaths have been reported (207,594). This results in a cumulative case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.5%,and accounts for 4.4% of deaths reported globally,” Nkengasong said at his weekly press briefing.

Below are the details provided by the Africa CDC chief on the situation in Africa.

  • As of today, September 23rd, African Union Member States are reporting the following:
  • Total cases: Over 8 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in Africa, (8,190,601). This accounts for 3.6% of total cases reported globally.
  • Total recoveries: Over 7.5 million people have recovered, (7,552,684). This accounts for 92% of the total cases reported in Africa.
  • Total deaths: Over 207,000 deaths have been reported (207,594). This results ina cumulative case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.5%,and accounts for 4.4% of deaths reported globally.
  • The following five countries account for 63% of all cases reported in Africa.
    • South Africa: 35% of total cases (2,889,298)
    • Morocco : 11% of total cases (923,924)
    • Tunisia: 9% of total cases (702,503)
    • Ethiopia: 4% of total cases (336,762)
    • Libya: 4% of total cases (334,049)
  • Case Fatality Rate (CFR): this week, 25 countries (45% of Member States), are reporting a CFR higher than the global average of 2.1%.
  • countries (Egypt, Somalia and Sudan) are reporting a CFR higher than 5%.
  • 78% of Member States(43 countries) experienced the 3rd COVID-19 wave. 32 (74%) MS are experiencing a more severe 3rd wave.
  • Since the last briefing, NO additional Member State is experiencing a 3rd wave.
  • Seven countries (Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Somalia and Tunisia) are experiencing a 4th COVID-19 wave. 4 (57%) MS are experiencing a more severe 4th wave.
  • Since the last briefing, NO additional Member State is experiencing a 4th wave.

COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | VARIANTS OF CONCERN (VOC)

  • 44 countries are now reporting the Alpha (B.1.1.7) VOC.

Since the last briefing, ONE additional Member State (Madagascar) has reported this variant.

  • 38 countries are now reporting the Beta (B.1.351) VOC.

          Since the last briefing, ONE additional Member State (Liberia) has reported this variant.

  • 40 countries are now reporting the Delta (B.1.617.2) VOC.

Since the last briefing, THREE additional Member States (Mali, Burkina Faso and Sudan) have reported this variant.

  • 2 Member States are reporting the Gamma (GR/501Y.V3/P.1+P.1.1+P.1.2) VOC.

Since the last briefing, NO additional Member State has reported this variant.

More details are provided in our dashboard:

COVID-19 Epidemiology Update | ONE-WEEK TREND ANALYSIS

  • The following are trends for epidemiological week 37 (13 – 19 September 2021), compared to the previous epidemiological week 36 (6 – 12 September 2021):
  • New cases: A total of 104,496 new cases were reported in Africa. This is a 22% decrease from the previous week.
  • The highest proportion of new cases is from the Southern region (41%). The other regions are as follows:
  • Northern region (32%)
  • Eastern region (16%)
  • Western region (7%)
  • Central region (4%)
  • The following 5 countries are reporting the highest number of new cases:
  • South Africa (24,435)
  • Morocco (15,034)
  • Ethiopia (9,857)
  • Botswana (8,144)
  • Libya (6,805)
  • The following 5 countries are reporting the highest daily incidence per million population, (average number of new cases per million population per day):
  • Seychelles (500)
  • Botswana (485)
  • Lesotho (244)
  • Sao Tome and Principe (160)
  • Libya (141)
  • New deaths: A total of 3,309 new deaths were reported in Africa compared to 3,469 from the previous week. This represents a 5% decrease in new deaths from the previous week.


  • The following are trends over the past 4 epidemiological weeks, (23 August – 19 September 2021):
  • New cases: There has been an overall 19% average decrease in new cases reported in Africa each week.
  • The following is a regional breakdown:
    • 16% increase in the Central region
    • 21%decreasein the Southernregion
    • 20% decrease in the Northern region
    • 17% decrease in the Western region
    • 5% decrease in the Eastern region
  • The following is a breakdown by the most populous countries in Africa:
    • Egypt : 42% average increase
    • Ethiopia: 14% average increase
    • South Africa: 26% average decrease
    • Kenya: 23% average decrease
    • DR Congo: 20% average decrease
    • Nigeria: 12% average decrease
  • New deaths: There has been an overall 12% average decrease in new deaths reported in Africa each week.
  • The following is a breakdown by the most populous countries in Africa:
    • Nigeria : 51% average increase
    • Ethiopia: 26% average increase
    • Egypt: 18% average increase
    • DR Congo: 2% average increase
    • South Africa: 13% average decrease
    • Kenya: No change


  • To date, over 70 million COVID-19 tests (70,739,842) have been conducted in African Union Member States since the pandemic started.
  • Over 1.2 million new tests, (1,260,247), were reported for epidemiological week 37 (13 – 19 September 2021).
  • This is an 11% decrease from the previous week when 1,419,860 tests were reported.
  • The cumulative positivity rate is 11.6% and the test-per-case ratio is 8.6, similar to a positivity rate of 11.7% and test-per-case ratio is 8.6 in the previous week.
  • 11% of Member States(countries) are reporting test positivity rates higher than 12%.


Eastern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre launch.

  • The Africa CDC will officially launch its Eastern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre on the 1st of October 2021 jointly with the host country Government, the Republic of Kenya. The main theme of the event is “Ensuring effective preparedness and response to current public health threats in the context of the COVID Pandemic and beyond”.
  • As one of the five regional collaborating centers of Africa CDC, the Eastern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre was established to coordinate public health initiatives across the 14 Member States in the Eastern Africa Region. The Eastern RCC is hosted by the Government of the Republic of Kenya which has been providing unwavering day to day support since its establishment.
  • The 14 Member States in the Eastern Africa Region are:
  • Union of the Comoros
  • Republic of Djibouti
  • State of Eritrea
  • Federal Dem. Rep. of Ethiopia
  • Republic of Kenya
  • Republic of Madagascar
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • Republic of Rwanda
  • Republic of Seychelles
  • Federal Republic of Somalia
  • Republic of the Sudan
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Republic of Uganda
  • I would like to express our gratitude for the Government of the Republic of Kenya as we prepare to official launch the Centre in the presence of Ministers of Health, Livestock Development, Environment, implementing partners, academia and other relevant stockholders the coming week.
  • We sincerely believe that, the Eastern Africa RCC will play a key role in ensuring the implementation of Africa CDC’s priorities in close collaboration with the National Public Health Institutes and all relevant stakeholders in the region.


  • With regards to the current progress of vaccinations across the continent – as of 22 September, African Union Member States are reporting the following:
  • Total vaccine doses supplied: 181.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been procured by 53 Member States.
  • Total vaccine doses administered: 136.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, which corresponds to 75.12% of the total supply available in Africa.
  • Coverage: 4.06% of the population has been fully vaccinated on the continent.
  • The following five countries have administered the most vaccine doses in Africa.
CountryDoses administered% of the supply% of Population fully vaccinated
South Africa16.6 million75.68%13.88%
Egypt13.8 million100%4.99%
Algeria9.9 million84.78%9.51%
Tunisia7.3 million100%21.76%

More details are provided on our dashboard (

  • Eritrea and Burundi are the 2 remaining AU Member States yet to start COVID-19 vaccine roll out. However, Burundi has placed an order for COVID-19 Vaccines through the COVAX mechanism with support from the World Bank.

Till date, AVAT has delivered about 4.4 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to 26 member states through August 2021. These are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia. Also, 12, 000 doses were delivered to the African Union.

580,800 doses of the same was delivered to 6 Caribbean countries: Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Antigua & Barbuda.


20 September:

India Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said India will resume exports of Covid-19 vaccines in the October quarter, prioritizing the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX and neighboring countries first as supplies rise.

India, the world’s biggest maker of vaccines, stopped exports of COVID shots in April to focus on inoculating its own population as infections exploded. The country’s monthly vaccine output has since more than doubled and is set to quadruple to over 300 million doses next month, and only excess supplies would be exported.

  1. Coronavac Vaccine trial in Children

On 10th Sept 2021, Sinovac and South Africa Numolux Group announced the launch of the PEDCORONAVAC STUDY, a phase 3 multi-centric clinical trial to evaluate efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of sinovac vaccine in children and adolescents aged 6 months to 17 years also conducted in Chile, Philippines, Malaysia and Kenya.  Targeted sample size in South Africa is 2000 out of 14000 children and adolescents worldwide.

  • MMR Vaccine

In Africa randomized trial to evaluate efficacy of the MMR vaccine against COVID-19 in health workers are ongoing in Egypt and as part of the Crown Coronation trial in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.


Deliveries of AstraZeneca doses from Norway were made to Uganda (414,640), Zambia (124,500). Bringing the total to 726,100 doses of AstraZeneca.


Germany has already donated more than 8 million doses of AstraZeneca to COVAX. 

Deliveries have been made to Mauritania (213,600), Sudan (357,600), Ghana (389,200), Egypt (850,560), Botswana (101,760), Ethiopia (271,200) 

Deliveries total: 2,183,920 doses of AstraZeneca.


Deliveries of doses of AstraZeneca were made to Ivory Coast (35,700). 



@AfricaCDC⁩ in partnership with Global Health Strategies (GHS) is pleased to announce the hosting of the 1st International Conference on Public Health in Africa, (CPHIA 2021).

This first International Public Health Conference comes at a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep inequities in the global health architecture and continues to significantly strain health systems across the world.

As Africa CDC calls for a New Public Health Order for Africa, we are ready to engage with the top leadership of the continent and work with other partners to drive the discussions on scientific innovations and key public health interventions for the citizens of the continent.

This 3-day virtual event will take place from 14-16 December 2021, we encourage you all, members of the media and other key stakeholders to mark your calendar and check our digital platforms for more


@AfricaCDC⁩ is pleased to announce the inaugural One Health Conference 2021.

A One Health approach is critical to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and others. This 3-day virtual event will take place from 01-03 November 2021, we encourage you all, members of the media and other key stakeholders to save the dates and visit our digital platforms for more information.

Increasing globalization, urban density, ease of travel, animal movement, environmental changes and habitat overlap between humans and animals, all provide opportunities for the emergence and spread of diseases that adversely impact both human and animal health, prosperity, and food security. COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease are two recent examples of how these various factors have directly impacted Africa. To combat these current outbreaks and get ahead of the next pandemic, a One Health approach must be taken.

In support of strengthening One Health across the continent, Africa CDC is holding this conference to showcase continental One Health research focusing on zoonotic disease surveillance and outbreak investigations, antimicrobial resistance, food safety, environmental health, and operational research through scientific presentations.


  • Link to the PHSM Tiers framework
    • Africa CDC website:
  • Completely opening or closing down countries with stringent PHSMs is no longer an option like it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Officials cannot just shut down society, but rather need layered policies appropriate for the COVID levels in-country
  • The PHSM tiered framework is a proposal for Member States to use indicators and thresholds, which measure the ‘amount’ of COVID-19 in a country, to help determine which policies should be put in place.

A similar approach has been used in South Africa with their alert system.

  • These PHSM tiers are based on incidence and test positivity, but the guidance published is only recommendations — we hope that Member States will use this guidance to build their own indicators, threshold and policies.
  • These proposed tiers should also be balanced with secondary impacts of PHSMs such as economic burdens, food security and access to essential health services, to ensure access to essential livelihoods
  • This is one of the tools that Africa CDC has developed, in partnership with Resolve to Save Lives, that supports both the Prevention and Monitoring components of the Adapted Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The purpose of PHSM tiers is to provide a framework to support clear decision-making, improve accountability and provide clear, evidence-based guidance to communities to increase healthy behavior change.
  • PHSMs should also be tailored to the smallest geographical region possible, for better response to hotspots and mitigation of secondary impacts.
  • Effective PHSMs are :
    • Easy to understand
    • Transparent
    • Data-driven
    • Practical
    • Customized to smallest geographic region
    • Collaborative
    • Legal, with proper oversight
    • Supported by wide dissemination of information that is easily accessible to the public
  • Transparency in decision making and predictability can encourage engagement from communities, in that they will know what to expect based on data and clear decisions.  This is critical to ensuring that PHSMs have value in disrupting transmission.
  • Displaying and communicating the level of risk and the related PHSMs will support individual, business and community decision-making and can be adapted as vaccine rates increase or potential changes in transmission occur.
  • The media has an important role to play in building trust and supporting clear, evidence-based communication with the public about what levels of PHSMs are in place, and why they change.

PHSMs will be necessary to control transmission while vaccine coverage remains low; more equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa is crucial to improving coverage. For now, countries must continue to rely on PHSMs while pressing high-income countries and international mechanisms to improve vaccine supply and increase access.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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