Africa has had relatively fewer cases of COVID-19 infection.


True, Africa has been the least affected continent with low confirmed cases of COVID-19.


This is a video of Bishop T.D Jakes of the US megachurch ‘The Potter’s House Church’ in Dallas Texas, providing advice and support to his followers during the coronavirus outbreak. Jakes claims that the level of infection of COVID-19 in Africa has been relatively low compared to other places like the US.

This is true, according to WHO, Africa is the least affected region globally, with 1·5% of the world’s reported COVID-19 cases and 0·1% of the world’s deaths as of the end of May 2020. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a communicable respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus that causes illness in humans. As of time of writing there have been 152,442 cases of Covid-19 reported in Africa, with 4,344 confirmed fatalities. 

Scientists still do not know why African countries appear to have had less cases and deaths than other continents, with theories postulated that Africa’s warm climate, young population demographic and presence of other infectious diseases may be responsible. According to the Lancet, the WHO and the African Union worked together after the COVID-19 threat was identified and supported testing and early detection, with many African countries acting early to enforce a lockdown and close borders. The Lancet warns however that medical capacity within Africa will be rapidly overwhelmed if containment measures fail to contain the spread of COVID-19, with others raising concerns over the low level of coronavirus testing. Dr John Nkengasong of the Africa CDC said that only 1.3 million tests had been conducted across the continent by May 2020, compared to over 17 million tests conducted in the United States.


World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa: African countries move from COVID-19 readiness to response as many confirm cases

Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC): Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Testing data in the US

The Lancet: COVID-19 in Africa: No room for complacency

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, in BBC: Lack of Covid-19 testing undermines Africa’s ‘success’

Origins of Claim


Full text of claim

“We have to rethink gates of entry where this virus might use our customs as gates of entry. When it comes to travel, it’s affecting every aspect of travel, so when it comes to conferences, events and things like that you have to think carefully about how many people are going to be travelling and how long are they going to be in the air. I see a lot of people coming from Lagos and places like that. It seems like the level of infection from the continent of Africa is relatively low, I pray it stays that way.”