SPECIAL REPORT: Overview of Coronavirus and other health threats in the ECOWAS region

ECOWAS Ministers of Health meet

This report covers an overview of epidemiological situation, Summary of Outbreaks Diseases in 2020, update on Covid-19 outbreak and the update on Ebola Virus epidemic in the DRC.

Epidemiological Situation on Covid-19: update as at 16 March 2020.

The Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread across five continents. As of 16 March 2020, a total of 167,511 cases have been confirmed in 151 countries, of which 6,606 deaths have been reported in 39 countries (3.94% CFR).

The most affected countries in the world are China (n = 81,077), Italy (24,747), Iran (n = 14,991), South Korea (n = 8,236), Spain (n = 7,753), France (n = 5,380), Germany (n = 4,838) and the United States (n = 2,951). In Africa, 329 cases confirmed in 28 countries.

The most affected countries in Africa are: Egypt (110), South Africa (51), Algeria (48), Morocco (28), Senegal (27), and Tunisia (18).

In the ECOWAS region, 65 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including zero deaths, have been recorded in 9 Member States: Senegal (27), Burkina Faso (20), Ghana (6), Cote d’Ivoire (6), Nigeria (2), Togo (1), Guinea (1), Liberia (1) and Benin (1).

The highlights in our region are as follows: § Guinea, Liberia and Benin have, each of them notified for the first time 1 confirmed case of Covid 19, bringing the total number of affected countries in ECOWAS to 9.

  • In Senegal, a community transmission seems to be established in Touba City (center of the country). This wasthe fifth confirmed case of the country, coming from Italy, who contaminated 18 identified close contacts.
  • Ivory Coast: 4 new cases have been confirmed. These are cases imported from Italy and France; however, the source of contamination of one of the cases is not clearly identified. He is a health worker and health officials believe that he has been infected during treatment by an undetected infected contact.
  • Burkina-Faso: 17 additional confirmed cases, bringing the total number of positive cases to 20. Most are contacts of the first cases; Ghana: 4 additional cases, all imported, were also reported.

Ongoing Events

CHOLERA:  Nigeria.

COVID-19:  Sénégal, Nigéria, Togo, Burkina Faso

YELLOW FEVER:  Mali, Nigeria

LASSA FEVER:  Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin


POLIOMYELITIS:  Bénin, Côte-d’Ivoire, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria.



Guinée, Libéria, Mali, Niger et Nigéria.

MONKEYPOX:  Nigéria.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Ebola Virus epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Update.

As of March 10, 2020, the epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri in the DRC has remained stable: 3,444 cases (3,310 confirmed and 134 probable) including 2,264 deaths (2,130 confirmed and 134 probable) for an overall lethality of 65.7% (64.3% among confirmed cases).

No new cases of Ebola disease have been reported since 17 February 2020, and on 3 March 2020, the only person whose illness had been confirmed in the last 21 days was released from an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, after recovering and testing twice negative for the virus.

The 42-day countdown began on March 2, 2020, to declare the end of the Ebola epidemic. However, at the current stage of the epidemic, a high level of surveillance and continued mobilization of all remains essential to detect and stop transmission, including secondary transmission events that may result from exposure to the infected body fluids of the survivor.

The latest WHO risk assessment considers that national and regional risk levels remain high (including the ECOWAS area), while global risk levels remain low.

WAHO continues to closely monitor the situation and recalls the following recommendations:

  • Follow the consolidated checklist to improve preparedness for Ebola disease,
  • Upgrade entry points,
  • Enhance vigilance at all levels,
  • Do not close borders or impose restrictions on movement and trade.
  • Figure 3

Other Ongoing Events

ANTHRAX: Zimbabwe.

HEPATITIS E: Namibia, South Sudan.





Summary of Outbreaks Diseases in ECOWAS in 2020.

This shows the Diseases, affected ECOWAS Members states and number of outbreaks reported by each member state:


Burkina-Faso (1)

Nigeria (1)

Sénégal (1)

Togo (1)

Ghana (1)

Cote d’Ivoire (1)

Guinea (1)

Benin (1)

Liberia (1)


Mali (1)


Bénin  (1)

Sierra-Leone (1)

Liberia (1)


Benin (1)

Sources d’informations: OOAS, OMS Website, WHO/AFRO_OEW, China CDC WEBSITE, ECDC WEB, NCDC WEBSITE.

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