Africa: How Do We Explain the Low COVID-19 Caseload in Africa (So Far)?


While some of the most developed healthcare infrastructure in the world has faltered in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa, with its fragile healthcare systems, seems the least-affected continent so far. How do we understand this?

According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control, 52 African countries had reported 13,686 cases (the majority of which were imported cases) of Covid-19, including 744 deaths, as of 12 April 2020. These numbers were 0.7% and 0.6% of the global Covid-19 cases and casualties of 1,804,748 and 110,877 respectively.

Why are there so few Covid-19 cases in Africa, a continent bigger than China, the US and Canada combined?

Many suggest the low caseload is because of inadequate testing facilities due to scarce resources and weak healthcare systems in Africa (see also here and here). However, we have made some other observations, related to demographics, behavioural patterns, age dynamics, climate and other factors, that could be keeping the overall caseload low in Africa. A study of these observations might catalyse some intriguing research as the world grapples to combat a common enemy that does not respect religious affiliation, economic status or geographic boundary.

Low population density

A low population density in Africa, just 117 people...

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