Editor’s note: Updated Mar 22 0530 UTC to include newly reported first cases in Eritrea and Uganda, which also amend the paragraphs on coronavirus in African nations. And the first reported cases in Bermuda and New Caledonia.
COVID-19 was documented in *36* more nations this week, as coronavirus has now affected at least 162 out of 195 countries (83%) across the globe.
The greatest spread of the virus the week of Mar 14 to Mar 21 was in Africa, which until now had reported a relatively low number of infections.
This week, however, *24* nations on the continent and surrounding islands reported infections, bringing Africa’s total number to 43 out of 54 countries (80%).
In total, 287,239 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide as of Mar 21, 2100 UTC, along with 11,921 deaths. In the last four weeks, *135* nations have confirmed their first COVID-19 case:
- 27 countries confirmed first cases week of Feb 22 to Feb 28
- 36 countries confirmed first cases week of Feb 29 to Mar 6
- 36 countries confirmed first cases week of Mar 7 to Mar 13
- And the following *36* countries confirmed first cases this week (Mar 14 to Mar 21):
ANGOLA 🇦🇴 (2 cases)
Angola’s first two cases of COVID-19 were reported on Mar 21 in two patients returning from Portugal, EWN reported. Two male Angolan residents tested positive after flying home from Portugal on March 17 and 18.
THE BAHAMAS 🇧🇸 (4 cases)
The Bahamas confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Mar 15, a 61-year-old female patient and resident of New Providence, Tribune242 reported.
BARBADOS 🇧🇧 (6 cases)
On Mar 17 Barbados confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19, St Lucia News reported. The country’s health ministry later confirmed a total of six cases, according to Loop News. Pop singer Rihanna pledged to purchase up to US $700,000 worth of ventilators for her home country.
BENIN 🇧🇯 (2 cases)
COVID-19’s spread through the African continent continued this week as Benin and 21 other countries confirmed their first cases of coronavirus. Benin’s first case on Mar 16 was a male patient traveling from Burkina Faso and, before that, Belgium, according to News24.
BERMUDA 🇧🇲 (2 cases)
Bermuda’s first two cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Mar 18. According to St Lucia News, one patient had traveled from the UK and the other from the US, and both have been isolated.
Bermuda is officially a British overseas territory and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is listed here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Europe and North America.
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS (Republic of Cabo Verde) 🇨🇻 (3 cases)
The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Cape Verde Islands on Mar 20. Africa News reported the patient was a 62-year-old British citizen who entered the country on March 9 and began showing symptoms on March 16.
CHAD 🇹🇩 (1 case)
Chad’s first case of coronavirus on Mar 19 was a Moroccan national who traveled from Cameroon, according to Reuters.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 🇨🇫 (3 cases)
The Central African Republic confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Mar 15. The country’s health minister reported a 74-year-old Italian citizen who entered the country March 8 was confirmed with the virus, Anadolu Agency reported.
CURACAO 🇨🇼 (3 cases, 1 death)
Curaçao’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Mar 14, Loop News Barbados reported. In response, the island’s prime minister announced all flights to and from the Netherlands would be suspended.
Note: Curaçao is officially a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is included here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through the Caribbean.
DJIBOUTI 🇩🇯 (1 case)
A Spanish special forces soldier was confirmed as Djibouti’s first case of coronavirus on Mar 18, The East African reported. The patient was part of a 32-member Spanish Special Forces unit, and all soldiers on the aircraft were immediately isolated in the French military base where they arrived.
EAST TIMOR 🇹🇱 (1 case)
An unidentified patient in the small Southeast Asian country of East Timor was confirmed as its first coronavirus patient on Mar 21, New Straits Times reported.
EL SALVADOR 🇸🇻 (3 cases)
El Salvador said a patient recently traveling from Italy was its first case of COVID-19, according to President Nayib Bukele.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 🇬🇶 (6 cases)
The first COVID-19 case in Equatorial Guinea was reported on Mar 14, according to the country’s health ministry. CGTN Africa reported a 42-year-old Equatoguinean woman was diagnosed after traveling from Madrid on a Ceiba International Airlines flight.
ERITREA 🇪🇷 (1 case)
Eritrea confirmed its first case of coronavirus late on Saturday Mar 21, Reuters reported. The patient was a 39-year-old Eritrean national traveling from Norway on a Fly Dubai aircraft.
ESWATINI 🇸🇿 (1 case)
A 35-year-old woman who visited the United States is the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in Eswatini, a small landlocked nation in southeast Africa. The woman had also traveled through nearby Lesotho, according to the health ministry.
FIJI 🇫🇯 (1 case)
Fiji confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Mar 18 in a Fiji Airways flight attendant, France 24 reported. The island’s second case was confirmed on Mar 21 as the same flight attendant’s mother, Fiji Times reported. Fiji Airlines has told passengers and crew members on three flights to contact authorities: FJ411 (Nadi-Auckland) on March 17, FJ410 (Auckland-Nadi) and FJ871 (San Francisco) on March 16.
THE GAMBIA 🇬🇲 (1 case)
COVID-19 was reported in The Gambia for the first time on Mar 19. According to Africa News, the female patient arrived from the United Kingdom. The Daily Monitor reported that the country is now “hunting” for 14 people who “broke out” of a 32-person hotel quarantine in the capital Banjul on Mar 20. They were all passengers on the same flight as the index patient, Daily Monitor reported. The country has also suspended its Parliament in response.
GREENLAND 🇬🇱 (1 case)
Greenland, which is officially an autonomous Arctic territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, had its first case of COVID-19 confirmed on March 16. The patient in Nuuk, its capital, has been placed in home isolation, The Straits Times reported.
Greenland is an autonomous Arctic territory of the Kingdom of Denmark and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is listed here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Europe and North America.
GUAM 🇬🇺 (3 cases)
HAITI 🇭🇹 (2 cases)
Haiti confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on Mar 19, a 60-year old Belgian and an unidentified French national, CNN reported. The country has instituted a lockdown on air travel with Europe, in response.
KYRGYZSTAN 🇰🇬 (14 cases)
Three people traveling from Saudi Arabia were confirmed as Kyrgyzstan’s first COVID-19 cases on Mar 18. Additional cases have been confirmed since then, bringing the national total to 14, AKI Press reported.
LIBERIA 🇱🇷 (3 cases)
Liberia’s EPA commissioner was diagnosed as the country’s first case of COVID-19 on Mar 16. According to Anadolu Agency, the official tested positive after traveling from Switzerland on Mar 12.
MADAGASCAR 🇲🇬 (3 cases)
COVID-19 has been reported for the first time in Madagascar on Mar 20. According to USNWR, three cases were confirmed, and the country has halted all international flights to curb the spread of the virus.
MAURITANIA 🇲🇷 (2 cases)
Mauritania confirmed its first coronavirus case on Mar 14 in an “expatriate” traveling from Europe, The East African reported.
MAURITIUS 🇲🇺 (14 cases, 1 death)
MAYOTTE 🇾🇹 (7 cases)
The archipelago of Mayotte, located between the east coast of Africa and Madagascar, has confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Mar 14 and second case on Mar 16. According to Notre Temps, French Overseas Territories have confirmed 27 cases: six in Guyana, seven in Martinique, six in Reunion, two in Saint-Martin, one in Saint-Barthélemy, three in Polynesia and [now two] in Mayotte.
Note: Mayotte is officially an overseas department and region of the French Republic and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is listed here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.
MONTENEGRO 🇲🇪 (14 cases)
Montenegro, which was the last remaining nation in Europe without coronavirus, has now confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 on Mar 17. According to Reuters, the first two patients were female travelers who had arrived from the United States and Spain.
NAMIBIA 🇳🇦 (3 cases)
The first case of COVID-19 detected in Namibia on Mar 14 was a couple traveling from Spain, according to Bloomberg News. The patients have been quarantined, monitored and treated.
NEW CALEDONIA 🇳🇨 (2 cases)
An Australian couple on their honeymoon were confirmed as New Caledonia’s first cases of coronavirus on Mar 19. In response the government closed schools and international flights will be suspended next week but all non-residents were told to leave, RNZ news reported.
Note: New Caledonia is officially an overseas territory of the French Republic and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It is listed here because the presence of the coronavirus demonstrates the continued spread through Oceania.
NICARAGUA 🇳🇮 (2 cases)
Nicaragua has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Mar 18. The first patient was a 40-year-old Nicaraguan who traveled from Panama, according to Confidencial.
NIGER 🇳🇪 (1 case)
Niger confirmed its first case of the coronavirus on Mar 19, according to its health minister. US News & World Report reported that a 36-year-old Nigerien man traveled to Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, all of which confirmed the virus in the last 1-2 weeks.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA 🇵🇬 (1 case)
Papua New Guinea’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Mar 20 in a “45-year-old caucasian” arriving from Madrid, according to the health minister, Loop PNG reported.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO 🇨🇬 (3 cases)
The first Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) case of coronavirus was reported on Mar 15. According to the Boston Globe, a dual French and Republic of Congo citizen was diagnosed after returning from Paris on an Ethiopian Airlines flight March 1.
Note: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) reported its first case on Mar 11.
RWANDA 🇷🇼 (17 cases)
Coronavirus was diagnosed for the first time in Rwanda on Mar 14 after a traveler from Mumbai, India tested positive, The East African reported. The country’s health ministry said the patient had no symptoms upon arrival and reported to a health facility where he was immediately tested.
SEYCHELLES 🇸🇨 (7 cases)
The isolated archipelago nation of Seychelles confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 on Mar 14. According to Arab News, two Seychellan citizens who returned from Italy on Mar 11 tested positive.
SOMALIA 🇸🇴 (1 case)
Somalia, engaged in civil war since 1991, confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Mar 16. According to the Jerusalem Post, the country’s health minister said one of four Somalis who traveled from China last week tested positive.
TANZANIA 🇹🇿 (6 cases)
On Mar 16, Tanzania’s health minister said a 46-year-old Tanzanian woman who traveled from Belgium is the nation’s first case of COVID-19. VOAnews reported the passenger passed a screening at Kilimanjaro Airport but later sough medical attention at a hospital where she was diagnosed.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS 🇻🇮 (3 cases)
The first case of coronavirus was reported in the US Virgin Islands late Friday Mar 13. Since then the total has grown to six cases: 2 on St. Croix and 4 in the St. Thomas-St. John District, according to the Virgin Islands Consortium.
Note: USVI is officially an organized, unincorporated United States territory and is not included in the above count of 36 countries. It was not included in the previous week’s report and as it does not affect the total count of reporting nations, we have included it here.
UGANDA 🇺🇬 (1 case)
A 36-year-old Ugandan national arriving from Dubai was confirmed as Uganda’s first COVID-19 case on late on Saturday Mar 21. The Daily Monitor reported that the male patient arrived at 2:00am the same day on an Ethiopian Airlines flight and other passengers have been quarantined.
UZBEKISTAN 🇺🇿 (37 cases)
Uzbekistan’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Mar 14 in an Uzbek citizen who returned from France, according to Reuters. Since then the virus has infected a total of 37 people as of Mar 21, the New York Times reported.
ZAMBIA 🇿🇲 (2 cases)
Coronavirus has been confirmed for the first time in Zambia on Mar 18, according to the country’s president Edgar Lungu. The first two cases were a Zambian couple traveling from France, Anadolu Agency reported.
ZIMBABWE 🇿🇼 (2 cases)
Zimbabwe’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed on Mar 20, EWN reported. According to the country’s health minister, a 38-year-old Caucasian man tested positive after returning from the United Kingdom via South Africa on Mar 15.