Algeria leads 5 African countries with highest COVID-19 deaths

Friday, April 17th, 2020 18:12 |
Photo taken on April 14, 2020 shows a billboard advising people to stay home as a way to contain the spread of COVID-19. (Xinhua/Joseph Mizere)

There are almost 19,000 confirmed cases in Africa and at least 970 confirmed deaths across the whole continent, which has a population of about 1.3 billion.

North Africa is the worst affected region. Algeria, Egypt and Morocco have all had more than 2,000 cases and at least 100 deaths. 

Algeria has had the most deaths with 348, Egypt (196), Morocco (128), South Africa (48) and Nigeria (13).

Why are there fewer cases compared with Europe and the US?

WHO Africa director Dr Matshidiso Moeti told BBC Global Health correspondent Tulip Mazumdar that international travel played a part.

"If you look at the proportion of people who travel, Africa has fewer people who are travelling internationally," she said.

But now that the virus is in within Africa, she says that her organisation is acting under the assumption that it will spread just as quickly as elsewhere.

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