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Resurgence Map

ADH Data Resource

Embedded data resource goes here. Appearance will need to be fully controlled by the dev team


Data source:

Our World in Data

Our World in Data
Last updated:
March 10, 2022


African Data Hub. (2021). Resurgence Dashboard. [online] https://resurgence.africadatahub.org.

About this resource

How was it made?

The Africa Data Hub (ADH) Resurgence Map and Data Table show COVID-19 case numbers, deaths, testing, vaccines, etc in 53 African countries over time.

The idea for this data dashboard originated with Peter van Heusden, a bioinformatician and Senior Systems Developer at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI); he had the idea of tracking or assessing emerging and declining risk across the continent. Using Python and Pandas in a Jupyter Notebook, he and Dirk Meerkotter interrogated whether this was possible with the available data.

To track the changes in new COVID-19 cases across the continent, they took a seven-day rolling window of the data to measure the percentage change in the number of new confirmed cases in that period relative to the previous seven days.  The choropleth map and leaderboard show which countries are experiencing an increase or decrease in new cases. The resurgence in new cases was the best way to show emerging and declining risk across the continent. They also decided that it was worth enabling users to view new COVID-19 cases and overlay all the different metrics (such as vaccinations, testing, deaths, etc) per country. This enables journalists to explore the data at a country level.

After some user testing, Matthew Kaufman from Solutions Journalism Network, suggested that there would be great value in viewing the data in a table. The table view enables users to easily select metrics and/or countries they want to compare over time. Users can easily download the data in csv format for a selected time period.

Where does the data come from?

The data is sourced from Our World in Data (OWID), an online publication that provides research and data on global challenges. In addition, they source their COVID-19 vaccine data from the most recent official data released by governments and health ministries globally; see here.

What are the limitations of this data set?

Testing rates in African countries are low and there are not many countries in Africa supplying up-to-date Testing Data.

Testing for COVID-19 is critical for measuring and tracking the resurgence of COVID-19. Positive COVID-19 tests equal the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, but there are likely to be many more unconfirmed cases of COVID-19 because not everyone with symptoms is tested. And not all test results are reported. OWID only has up-to-date data for less than half of the countries in Africa. However low rates of infection and COVID-19 deaths in Africa is only partly explained by low testing rates. Read more.

OWID only includes PCR and antigen test results as these are reliable indicators of active cases at a given point in time. Antibody tests are less useful for this purpose because a positive result would mean that the person has had COVID-19 before but they are not necessarily infectious at the time of testing.Testing data is used to calculate 5 indicators in the resurgence map related to new confirmed cases, and 4 indicators related to testing and positivity.

Testing for COVID-19 is a significant cost for healthcare budgets. It is unlikely that African countries will invest in making more up-to-date available on COVID-19 cases, deaths, etc. Read more.

Video introduction

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