The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a constant upward trajectory in the region with all countries affected at different stages of the pandemic. A total of 629,655 cases have been registered to date with 11,041 deaths (Case fatality rate of 1.75%) and 431,145 (70%) recoveries. The new confirmed cases have tripled since the last sitrep a month ago.
Over 62% of the confirmed cases are from 20-50 years, the most social-economically active group; significant mortality is among the ages 40-60 years (36%) and 60-80 (44%). There has been a significant change from a male majority to almost equal proportions of males and females among the confirmed cases (52% males 48% females). This could be attributed to the caregiving role for females in the region, as cases increase in number.
Countries continue to relax restrictions on movement imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. Kenya and Rwanda opened up their airspaces to international travelers with easing of quarantine measures for returning residents and visitors as a way of stimulating economic recovery.
South Africa accounts for 85% of the confirmed cases and deaths in the region, with 8,000-12,000 daily new confirmed cases over the last three weeks. Health systems in some of the provinces have been stretched though not yet to the limit with essential services being constrained.
Health care workers have not been spared the brunt of the pandemic. In South Africa alone 24,104 health workers have been affected with 181 fatalities with concerns over the provision of PPE. Frequent closures of health facilities have been reported across the region as health care workers and patients test positive for COVID-19
Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Zambia have had a sharp rise in the number of new cases reported on a daily basis.
Conflict and climate change related severe weather events have resulted in 9,042,700 people being internally displaced while various countries are host to 3,805,000 refugees in the region. A further 4,650,000 people form part of the host community for these forcibly displaced persons leaving a total of 17,405,000 people burdened by the effects of severe weather and conflict.
Over 53 million food insecure people in the region have been hit hard by the social economic impact of the restrictions, with Zimbabwe hit hardest with a combination of economic collapse and food insecurity. In Mozambique, insecurity in Cabo Delgado province is hampering access by humanitarian actors and further complicating the disruptions of essential sexual and reproductive health services caused by COVID-19.