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Five countries responsible for 80% of COVID-19 cases in W/Africa – WAHO

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By Emeka Amakor

July 23, 2020 - The West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has disclosed that five Countries in West Africa are responsible for the COVID-19 burden in West Africa.

Speaking at the opening of the ECOWAS Virtual Extra Ordinary Session, Prof. Stanley Okolo, Director General of WAHO said that the case fatality rate in the region was still under control, adding that as at July 16, of the 96,936 cases in the region, the five countries contributed 84,118.

”There are 5 countries who contribute almost 80 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the region – Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Guinea.

“What is important is to note the case fatality rate: how many people die because of COVID-19.

“In our region, it is still relatively low at about 1.6 per cent, but that of course hides the fact that that in itself is a raise from about 0.5 per cent to some countries that are at about 6 per cent,” he said.

Prof. Okolo added that if the number of active cases were to be considered, then Guinea Bissau with over 1,000 active cases would be added to the list of highest contributors.

He added that the case fatality rate for the region was currently at a median of about 2.16 per cent and an average of 1.6 per cent.

“But the range of people dying after diagnosis of COVID-19 is from about 0.57 per cent in Ghana to about 6 per cent in Niger.

“If you look at our active cases, it is commoner where we have a higher population density.

“We are not able to get all the figures from some districts in Mali because of insecurity and similarly from some district in Niger,” he said.

He re-echoed the disclaimer about the peculiarity or not of COVID-19 among certain age groups, sexes or class.

He however noted that the younger people accounted for more of the cases, adding that the age-group contributed to the highest number of those who are nonchallant about the precautions.

“Covid-19 does not respect any ages or any sex. Yes the diagnosis in commoner in men than women, but actually when you look at the age distribution, you will find that when you go from the youngest to the oldest, Covid-19 tends to cut across all but it is commonest in the young age group.

“These are the people who often don’t take these seriously and that is the tragedy of our situation in West Africa, because they are the ones who often survive, but then if they do infect the old ones we then have a major problem.

So we have to look at everything we must do to target those young ones.,” he said.

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