Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak was first detected in the WHO African Region in Algeria on 25 February 2020, the outbreak continues to evolve with rising incidence cases and associated deaths, although with decreasing case fatality rates. Since our last situation report on 17 June 2020 (External Situation Report 16), an additional 51 839 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (a 28% increase) were reported from 44 countries. Of the 51 839 reported new cases in the region, more than half, (57%) 29 774 were recorded in South Africa. During this period, five countries in the region observed the highest percentage increase in cases: Namibia 112% (from 34 to 72 cases), Mauritania 65% (from 1 887 to 3 121 cases), Benin 60% (from 532 to 850 cases), Botswana 48% (from 60 to 89 cases) and Malawi 42% (from 564 to 803 cases). Mauritania has consistently been among countries recording the highest increase in cases for the past four reporting periods.