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COVID-19 Situation update for the WHO African Region, External Situation Report 34 (21 October 2020)

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New cases and deaths in the past seven days (14 to 20 October 2020)

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the WHO African Region is now at 1 262 476 with 28 601 deaths. During the last seven, a total of 29 919 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 474 new deaths were reported from 46 countries, compared to 30 145 cases and 747 deaths registered during the previous seven days (7 - 13 October 2020). With an estimated 40 days of halving time, the number of new cases in the last seven days did not show any significant change (1% decrease) compared to the prior period.

At the same time, the number of new deaths in the African region decreased by 37%, with South Africa reporting 46% of the new deaths. During the last seven days, South Africa reported 429 retrospective COVID-19 deaths as a result of the ongoing mortality audits.

In the past seven days, 14 countries recorded a decrease in new cases by 20% or above: Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe and Seychelles. Twelve countries have recorded an increase in new cases by 20% or above in the past seven days: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Eritrea, Guinea- Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.

The weekly incidence in the past seven days remained stable, increasing or decreasing by less than 20%, in 20 countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

United Republic of Tanzania did not officially submit any reports indicating any new confirmed cases.

Seventy-nine new health worker infections were reported from six countries: Côte d'Ivoire (40), Uganda (23), Namibia (10), South Sudan (3), Eswatini (2) and Liberia (1).

During this reporting period, 474 new COVID-19 related deaths occurred in 25 countries, with 203 (43%) of the deaths recorded in South Africa. This was followed by Ethiopia, with 66 (14%) deaths, Algeria with 55 (12%) and Kenya with 55 (12%). South Africa and Ethiopia recorded a 58% and 2% decrease in deaths respectively, while Kenya and Algeria had an increase in deaths by over 20% compared to the previous seven days. The other countries that reported new deaths during the reporting period include; Angola (24), Democratic Republic of the Congo (22), Cabo Verde (10), Nigeria (9), Mozambique (5), Senegal (4), Zimbabwe (3), Burkina Faso (2), Cameroon (2), Rwanda (2), Uganda (2), Botswana (1), Chad (1), Côte d'Ivoire (1), Eswatini (1), Madagascar (1), Malawi (1), Namibia (1), Sierra Leone (1), Togo (1) and Zambia (1).