The global coronavirus death toll has now exceeded 10,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US university – which has been compiling its data soon after the outbreak began late last year – says the number of confirmed cases is fast approaching 250,000.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier warned that Africa must “wake up” to the coronavirus threat and prepare for the worst.
The continent should learn from how the spread of virus has sped up elsewhere, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
He warned that while Africa’s confirmed cases were currently low – around 640 – there was no reason for complacency.
“Africa should wake up, my continent should wake up,” said the Ethiopian, the WHO’s first African head.
Health experts warn that strained public health systems in Africa could become quickly overwhelmed if the virus takes hold, especially in overcrowded urban areas.
“WHO’s recommendation is actually mass gatherings should be avoided and we should do all we can to cut it from the bud, expecting that the worst could happen,” Mr Tedros told a news conference in Geneva, where the WHO is based.