Many countries implemented lockdowns and key public health measures early and these appear to have helped slow down the spread of the disease.
Thirteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa implemented lockdowns along with other public health and social measures nation-wide, while ten more instigated partial lockdowns in hotspots.
Preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the doubling time – the number of days for case numbers to double in a given country – increased during the lockdown period in most of the countries of the region.
“Three months since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in sub-Saharan Africa, it appears that the swift actions taken by African leaders and communities has slowed the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
South Africa, which following a robust testing programme reported a particularly high number of COVID-19 cases has seen its doubling time remain stable at around two weeks since the confinement measures have started to be relaxed.