Covid-19 seemed to have become a pandemic of the wealthy world unlike most epidemics in recent decades. Therefore our cartograms showing worldwide statistics make Africa almost invisible due to the continent’s small share of confirmed cases and deaths in a global context. The following map series puts a focus on Africa-only, highlighting how variable the picture of cases and deaths is that emerges when showing only this part of the world:
Egypt was the first country in Africa reporting a case of coronavirus, with other North African countries following suit.
As of today (3 May 2020) Africa has 43,697 reported cases and 1,773 deaths, which is the smallest number of all major geographic regions. Initially the experience of many African countries with infectious diseases such as Ebola seemed to give them an advantage. But an increasing number of countries have now reported cases of Covid-19. Lesotho and Western Sahara are the only territories on the continent that have not yet reported any case.
This does, however, not mean that Coronavirus has not arrived there. It is important to keep in mind that the picture provided here reflects the situation as it is reported by the individual national health authorities. Case numbers have throughout the course of the pandemic believed to be higher than the reported cases, while the unknown figures may vary significantly between countries. For poorer countries this can often also explained with a lack of testing capacities which means that many cases (and deaths) will remain undetected.
South Africa reported the highest number of cases (6,226), followed by Egypt (6,193), Morocco (4,729), Algeria (4,295) and Nigeria (2,388).
Algeria is highest in the number of confirmed deaths (459), followed by Egypt (415), Morocco (173), South Africa (123) and Nigeria (85).
With the growing numbers of cases, concerns about treatment capacities on the African continent grow. According to the WHO there are less than 5,000 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds available in 43 African countries in total, which equals 5 ICU beds per one million people, compared to approximately 4,000 ICU beds for one million people in Europe.
A full chronological series of our Covid-19/Coronavirus cartograms is part of our blog feature Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update: Chronology of a Pandemic.
More cartograms can also be viewed in the maps section where you find further details about the cartogram, the data and their sources, and further copyright information:
- COVID-19/Coronavirus cases
- COVID-19/Coronavirus cases per capita
- COVID-19/Coronavirus Mortality
- COVID-19/Coronavirus cases outside China