Africa reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on February 15, 2020—a full two months after it was first identified in China. Once it arrived on the continent, the virus spread to over 30 countries in less than a month. It now has been reported in 47 African countries. Hotspots have emerged in South Africa, North Africa, and West Africa with dissemination linked to a host of factors including urban population density, effectiveness of testing and reporting, and levels of international exposure, among others.
With confirmed cases in Africa rising at a rate of approximately 25 percent per day, time is of the essence if Africa is to avoid the worst effects of the pandemic. Slowing the exponential expansion of the virus will rely on identifying the primary transmissions routes within each country and disrupting these.
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