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africaprevention all updates about covid19 in africa

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: ARCHIVES

All Across Africa : Developments in SA, Malawi and the DRC

10-08-2020

>> South Africa death toll tops 10.000

” The Department of Health reported 198 new COVID-19 deaths in South Africa, taking the death toll to 10.408, ” according to AFP tally.

” Most of the new deaths are from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.”

” The number of confirmed cases has increased by 6.670, taking the total number of infections to 559. 858.”

>>Malawi closes bars and churches as Covid-19 cases rise

The authorities in Malawi have ordered bars and churches to close, ” the BBC said.

This comes after the number of corona virus cases doubled over the past month. There have so far been 4,624 cases of the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Malawi’s attorney general said special enforcement officers had been hired to ensure people stuck to the new guidelines.

>>Covid-19: Students are back to school in Democratic Republic of Congo 

Some schoolchildren and students returned to school on Monday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after the end of the COVID 19-related state of emergency, » according to AFRICANEWS.

The conclusion of the emergency period was announced on July 21 and the partial resumption of classes was then scheduled for Monday August 10, in an attempt to complete the 2019-2020 school year.

The restart of the school year only applies to children in the last years of primary and secondary school, as well as students in the fifth year at the university,  AFRICANEWS wrote.

#SouthAfrica      #Malawi        #DRC

All Across Africa : Over one million cases in the continent

07-08-2020

>> Africa surpassed the grim milestone of 1 million cases

“Africa’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 1 million,”  a Reuters tally showed on Thursday, ” as the disease began to spread rapidly through a continent whose relative isolation has so far spared it the worst of the pandemic.”

The continent has registered 1,003,056 cases, of which 21,983 have died and 676,395 recovered.

” South Africa – which is the world’s fifth worst-hit nation and makes up more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s case load – has recorded 538,184 cases since its first case on March 5″, the health ministry said on Thursday.

>> Covid-19 patients are ” dying at home in Zimbabwe

A doctor in Zimbabwe has told the BBC that he is witnessing people with coronavirus not able to make it to the hospital and instead dying at home.

Dr Norman Matara, who works in the capital Harare, has been speaking to BBC OS.

We are witnessing more cases of people diagnosed with Covid-19 after a post-mortem has been done. So from the number of people who have died, most of them are people who are dying at home,he told the BBC.

>> Drastic mesures to combat Covid-19 in Rwanda

According to AFRICANEWS,extreme measures to combat Covid-19, in Rwanda, with authorities detaining people who violate the 9 pm curfew and mask-wearing protocols in stadiums for hours – where they are forbidden to move all night.

They are then subjected to incessant lectures on virus-prevention and consequently ordered to self-confinement upon their departure at dawn.

Around 70,000 people have passed through detention centres or stadiums since mid-July, AFRICANEWS wrote.

#Zimbabwe #Rwanda

All Across Africa : Developments in Gambia and Kenya, amid WHO concerns

03-08-2020

 

>> The WHO urges people and governments to “do it all”

“The World Health Organization warned on Monday that there might never be a silver bullet for COVID-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine and that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy,” according to REUTERS.

“The message to people and governments is clear: ‘Do it all’,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news briefing.

Tedros also said “face masks should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.”

“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment – and there might never be.”

>> Three Gambian ministers test positive for coronavirus

Three cabinet ministers in The Gambia have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the presidency.

President Adama Barrow last week went into self-isolation after Vice-President Isatou Touray tested positive for the virus, the BBC said.

Finance Minister Mambureh Njie, Petroleum and Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang and Agriculture Minister Amie Fabureh have also contracted the virus.

>> International flights to and from many African nations resume

Kenya is one of several African countries that are recommencing international flights suspended since March because of the COVID‐19 pandemic,AFRICANEWS wrote.

The country’s international airline, Kenya Airways, has resumed flights to 30 different destinations.

Other African countries enjoying a resumption of flights include Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Togo.

#Kenya        #Gambia

All Across Africa : Developments in Namibia, South Africa and Kenya

31-07-2020

>> Namibia to close schools, limit public gatherings

Namibian schools will be suspended for the second time in four months next week, while limits on public gatherings will be tightened further to 100 from 250 amid surging cases, President Hage Geingob said,   according to REUTERS.

In a televised speech on Friday, Geingob said the decision to suspend schools from Aug. 4 for 28 days came after considering the risks associated with the spread of the virus.

The measure affects early childhood development, pre-primary, primary and the first two grades of high school.

>> South Africa plans to build coronavirus vaccine plant

Higher Education, Science and Technology minister Blade Nzimande says that government plans to build a local coronavirus vaccine manufacturing plant,   BUSINESSTECH wrote.

Speaking in a virtual conference on Friday (31 July), Nzimande said that the plant would be headed up by both government officials, pharmaceutical companies and private-sector vaccine specialists.

“The aim is to get South Africa into a state of readiness to manufacture an approved Covid-19 vaccine locally.

>> Kenyan authorities release  list of quarantine-exempt countries

The Kenyan government has released the list of countries from which travellers will be exempt from going into quarantine once they arrive, the BBC said.

International flights are due to resume on Saturday four months after they were suspended in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to the BBC, All travellers will have to pass a temperature test on arrival and they need to prove that they have been tested for the virus within 96 hours before travel.

The 18 quarantine-exempt countries include the UK, France, Italy, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda.The US is also on the list, but people coming from California, Florida and Texas will not be exempt from quarantine.

#Namibia    #South Africa      #Kenya

All Across Africa : Developments in Zimbabwe, Libya and Morocco

30-07-2020

>> Two-thirds of Zimbabweans will need food aid by year’s end

The UN food agency has appealed for $250m (£190m) of extra funding to avert what it describes as a humanitarian catastrophe in Zimbabwe, ” the BBC said.

The World Food Programme (WFP) announced that nearly two-thirds of the population will need food aid by the end of this year.

The country is suffering from a poor harvest, rampant inflation and a growing coronavirus problem, ” the BBC wrote.

>> Libya to impose full lockdown

Libya’s internationally recognised government in Tripoli will impose a full lockdown in areas of the country it controls, after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases,” according to Reuters.

Libya, split since 2014 between areas held by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east, managed to avoid an early surge of the pandemic.

However, the disease has been spreading more quickly this month and Libya’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), one of the few bodies that operates across the country despite the conflict, has confirmed 3,222 cases, ” Reuters said.

>> Morocco sets new record of COVID-19 cases in one day

Morocco on Thursday reported 1,046 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest single-day increase so far, taking the total number of infections in the country to 23 259, xinhua wrote.

The total number of recoveries from COVID-19 in Morocco increased to 17,511 after 186 new ones were added, while the death toll rose to 346 with 12 new fatalities, said Abdelkrim Meziane Belfkih, head of the department of epidemic diseases at the Ministry of Health, at a press briefing.

#Zimbabwe     #Libya    #Morocco

All Across Africa : Developments in Kenya, Ghana and Morocco

27-07-2020

>> Kenya : Nationwide curfew extended

“Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday he had extended a nationwide curfew for another 30 days and banned alcohol sales in restaurants to curb the spread of COVID-19, REUTERS wrote.

“Kenya has so far reported 17,603 cases of infection with the novel coronavirus and 280 deaths from the related disease COVID-19.”

“The health ministry said on Sunday that 960 more cases had been confirmed, the biggest daily jump since the first case was confirmed in March,” according to REUTERS.

>> Ghana president eases restrictions

According to the BBC, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced a fresh easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Gatherings in places of worship will now last for two hours from one hour, but congregants must wear face masks and maintain social distancing, the president said in a televised address.Tourist sites and attractions and open-air drinking spots have also been allowed to reopen,” the BBC said.

Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs however remain closed until further notice.

>> Covid-19: Morocco shuts down major cities

Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, the interior and health Ministries said on Sunday,” according to FRANCE24.

The cities to be locked down include the economic powerhouse of Casablanca as well as Tangier, Marrakech, Fez and Meknes.

On Sunday, the health ministry said 633 new coronavirus cases were recorded, one of the biggest daily rises so far, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 20,278, with 313 deaths and 16,438 recoveries,FRANCE24 wrote.

#Kenya    #Ghana    #Morocco

All Across Africa : Developments in Madagascar, DRC and Uganda

22-07-2020

>>  Hospitals in Madagascar are overwhelmed

According to The BBC,hospitals in Madagascar have warned they are overwhelmed after a spike in coronavirus cases in a country where the president has been promoting a herbal drink to treat the virus.

A record 614 new cases have been confirmed in the last day, bringing the total to 8,162 and 69 deaths.

Several African countries have ordered the tonic, called Covid-Organics. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence the drink works against Covid-19,The BBC says.

>> DRC ends Covid-19 health emergency

In a televised address late on Tuesday, President Felix Tshisekedi announced an end to the Covid-19 health emergency enforced since 24 March,  RFI said

This involved closing DRC’s borders with nine neighbouring countries, as well as shutting down schools, bars and restaurants.

Tshisekedi said that, from Wednesday 22 July, all shops, banks, restaurants, cafes, firms and bars would be allowed to reopen. Public transport can resume, and large gatherings will be permitted, ” according to RFI.

Schools and universities can now reopen on 3 August. Airports, ports, borders, and places of worship will follow on 15 August.” 

>> Uganda : President Museveni to decide on school reopening in Septembre

“Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday said the government will make a final decision in September on whether to reopen schools ,” CGTN AFRICA wrote.

“We shall have to make a big decision before September when the third term is expected to begin. We shall either open some schools for candidate classes; declare a dead year or whatever. Let’s not rush,” Museveni said.

“The president said as the government continues to study the situation, alternative and distance learning through radio and television are being considered.”

Uganda has recorded 1 075 cases with no deaths so far.

#Madagascar         #DRC             #Uganda

All Across Africa : Developments in Madagascar, DRC and Uganda

22-07-2020

>>  Hospitals in Madagascar are overwhelmed

According to The BBC,hospitals in Madagascar have warned they are overwhelmed after a spike in coronavirus cases in a country where the president has been promoting a herbal drink to treat the virus.

A record 614 new cases have been confirmed in the last day, bringing the total to 8,162 and 69 deaths.

Several African countries have ordered the tonic, called Covid-Organics. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence the drink works against Covid-19,The BBC says.

>> DRC ends Covid-19 health emergency

In a televised address late on Tuesday, President Felix Tshisekedi announced an end to the Covid-19 health emergency enforced since 24 March,  RFI said

This involved closing DRC’s borders with nine neighbouring countries, as well as shutting down schools, bars and restaurants.

Tshisekedi said that, from Wednesday 22 July, all shops, banks, restaurants, cafes, firms and bars would be allowed to reopen. Public transport can resume, and large gatherings will be permitted, ” according to RFI.

Schools and universities can now reopen on 3 August. Airports, ports, borders, and places of worship will follow on 15 August.” 

>> Uganda : President Museveni to decide on school reopening in Septembre

“Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday said the government will make a final decision in September on whether to reopen schools ,” CGTN AFRICA wrote.

“We shall have to make a big decision before September when the third term is expected to begin. We shall either open some schools for candidate classes; declare a dead year or whatever. Let’s not rush,” Museveni said.

“The president said as the government continues to study the situation, alternative and distance learning through radio and television are being considered.”

Uganda has recorded 1 075 cases with no deaths so far.

#Madagascar         #DRC             #Uganda

All Across Africa : Developments in Kenia and Democratic Republic of Congo

14-07-2020

>> WHO : Coronavirus crisis may get “worse and worse and worse”

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a virtual briefing from the U.N. agency’s headquarters.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse,” Tedros added.

According to the Johns Hopkins University, almost 13 million people around the world have been infected and over 570 000 have died.

Figures from Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention show that there are more than 612 000 cases recorded all across the continent, including over 13 500 deaths.

>> Coronavirus cases recorded at Kenya’s largest maternity hospital

Forty-one staff members, including health workers, at Kenya’s largest maternity hospital in the capital Nairobi have tested positive for coronavirus,   according to the BBC.

The cases at Pumwani hospital were found after 290 staff members were tested, Dr Patrick Amoth, the acting health director general told the BBC.

He added that all those who tested positive were receiving home-based care and none of them required hospitalisation.

Kenya has registered over 10 000 coronavirus cases, including 197 deaths so far

>>  Ebola outbreak in western Democratic Republic of Congo

“ Ebola is spreading in western Democratic Republic of Congo, with nearly 50 known cases across a large region bordering the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic ,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

“ Since authorities announced the outbreak on June 1, 48 cases have been confirmed in Congo’s Equateur province, with a further three probable cases and a total of 20 deaths, WHO’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan said,” according to Reuters.

“This is still a very active outbreak, and I would say it is still a great concern,” Ryan told a news briefing.

#Kenya        #DemocraticRepublicofCongo

All Across Africa : Developments in South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania

09-07-2020

>> South Africa in the top 14 of Covid-19 infections globally

“South Africa now has the world’s 14th highest number of Covid-19 infections globally and officials are concerned that the virus’s doubling rate is currently higher than all countries with more cases than South Africa, ” the BBC wrote.

“South Africa is in the middle of winter when the spread of coronavirus is expected to increase drastically.”

“And it is beginning to happen – 192 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours – the highest so far, ” according to the BBC.

>> Nigeria reverses resumption of schools

Nigerian authorities have reversed last week’s announcement on the resumption of classes for final-year primary and secondary school students.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu said he would prefer that “Nigerian students lose an academic year than to expose them to dangers.”

Nigeria has recorded increasing cases of coronavirus, with 30 249 infections so far, including 684 deaths.

>>  Fears of “ silent epidemic” in Africa 

When the new coronavirus hit Tanzania in mid-April, President John Magufuli called for three days of national prayer to seek God’s protection from the scourge. Barely a month later, he claimed victory over the disease,” according to Reuters.

His rush to reopen came despite alarm from the World Health Organization (WHO) over an almost total lack of information on the spread of the virus in the country of 55 million people.” said

The shortage of reliable data afflicts many African nations, with some governments reluctant to acknowledge epidemics or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny, ” Reuters said.

#SouthAfrica    #Nigeria    #Tanzania

All Across Africa :  Developments in Madagascar, Ghana and Kenya

07-07-2020

>> Malgasy authorities reimpose lockdown in Antananarivo

Malgasy authorities have placed capital Antananarivo under lockdown following an increase in coronavirus cases in the city.

In as statement, “The Analamanga region (where the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said.

No travel will be allowed within the region starting Monday until July 20 and schools and universities will remain closed, according to the government.

>> Ghana’s President self-isolates after close person tests positive

“Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for coronavirus,” Reuters wrote.

“He has, as at today, tested negative, but has elected to take this measure out of the abundance of caution,” the statement said, adding that the president will continue to work during the period, in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.

>> Kenya lifts travel restrictions

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a phased reopening of the country amid a rising number of coronavirus infections, ” the BBC wrote.

The president lifted travel restrictions in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties, which are some of the regions with the highest coronavirus cases.

However, the 2100 to 0400 nationwide curfew remains in place for a further 30 days,   according to the BBC.

#Madagascar      #Ghana      #Kenya

All Across Africa : Developments in Rwanda and Kenya, amid WHO concerns over Covid-19 tests

02-07-2020

>> WHO :  There is a certain underestimation of cases ”  in Africa

“We think that there is a certain underestimation of cases [in Africa],” the regional director of the W.H.O told a news conference.

Matshidiso Moeti added, “ As Africa opens its airspace, we need strong Covid-19 response measures to effectively detect, monitor & manage possible surges in infections. The risks of flare-ups can’t be reduced to zero, but minimized to allow safe air travel.

The continent has registered 414 011 confirmed coronavirus cases with 10 260 deaths, while 196,944 patients have recovered, according to Africa CDC.

>> Random Covid-19 testing in Rwanda

Police are randomly stopping people in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, seeking their consent for coronavirus testing”, the BBC wrote.

According to Rwandan health authorities the exercise “will provide factual information about the Covid-19 status in the capital”.

Officials in Kigali told the BBC that they will be focusing on morning hours as people go to work and in the evenings as they return home.”

Some are however complaining that they are being forced to consent to the testing.”

>>  Locusts threaten Kenya’s food supply

“Desert locusts continue to threaten Kenya’s food supply after invading the north-western part of the country by the millions”, Africanews says.

“The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations works with Kenyan logisticians to search for and monitor dense areas of locust invasions in the country’s desert.”

“Among them, Boris Polo and his team are using GPS data to spray blocks long before they are ripe enough to fly or lay eggs,” according to Africanews.

#Rwanda        #Kenya

All Across Africa : Developments in Burundi, Rwanda and Senegal

01-07-2020

>> Burundi’s new president promises to tackle coronavirus

Burundi’s new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, has promised steps to combat the spread of COVID-19, a shift from the stance of his late predecessor who dismissed the danger posed by the novel coronavirus,” Reuters said.

Ndayishimiye, 52, a retired army general, won a presidential election in May as the ruling party’s candidate, defeating six opposition contenders. He had been due to take office in August, but the death of predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza last month brought the succession forward.”

Burundi has 170 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

>> Rwanda reportes cases in prisons

Rwanda has reported 72 cases in police detention centres among daily new infections that pushed the total number of cases over 1 000, ” according to the BBC.

This is the first time coronavirus cases have been reported in prisons in Rwanda.

Health officials said the cases were connected to new infections detected in the east of the country,” BBC correspondent wrote.

Last week, Rwandan authorities re-introduced a two-week lockdown in parts of the capital, Kigali, as dozens of cases were confirmed.

>> Senegal lifts restrictions

“In a televised address, president Macky Sall said the country’s state of emergency and curfew which were imposed on March 23 will be lifted as of Tuesday 11pm local time,”Africanews said.

“The president further added that as of July 15, air borders will be reopened to the world and international flights will resume. Nevertheless, land and sea borders will remain closed. These restrictions are being eased to avert an economic fallout.”

President Sall said : “The case fatality rate in Senegal is 1.5%, compared to an African average of 2.5% and a global average of 5.2%. Senegal has a recovery rate of 64.8%, compared to an African average of 48% and a global average of 50%.”

#Burundi    #Rwanda     #Senegal

All Across Africa : Developments in Nigeria, Algeria and Mozambique

29-06-2020

 

>> Nigeria lifts ban on interstate travel

“Nigeria will allow travel between states outside curfew hours from July 1, an official from the presidential task force on the new coronavirus said on Monday.” 

“Interstate movement has been restricted to essential services for several weeks. A national daily curfew is in place from 10pm to 4am local time.” 

The west African country has so far recorded 24 567 coronavirus cases and 565 deaths.

>> Algeria’s borders to remain closed

Algerian borders will remain closed “until Allah sets us free from this pandemic”, President Abdelamadjid Tebboune  said.

New cases reached another record in the north African country with 305  infections in one day. Three weeks after easing lockdown restrictions, Algeria has registered a huge surge in new infections in the province of Setif and other eastern parts of the country.” 

The authorities say it’s because of people ignoring preventive measures, and President Tebboune has ordered severe punishments against the offenders.” 

To date, Algeria has registered 13,571 cases and 905 deaths.

>>Mozambique extends state of emergency

According to BBC correspondent, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has extended the country’s state of emergency for another 30 days but relaxed some measures seen to be hurting the economy.” 

Stringent restrictions that have affected tourism, sports, trade and labour will be relaxed, he said in a televised address.” 

The president said colleges and universities will also reopen in the next 30 days, but must adhere to safety measures that will be announced by the government,” the BBC wrote.

The country has so far confirmed 859 cases of coronavirus and 5 deaths.

#Nigeria   #Algeria   #Mozambique

All Across Africa : Developments in Nigeria, Algeria and Mozambique

29-06-2020

 

>> Nigeria lifts ban on interstate travel

“Nigeria will allow travel between states outside curfew hours from July 1, an official from the presidential task force on the new coronavirus said on Monday.” 

“Interstate movement has been restricted to essential services for several weeks. A national daily curfew is in place from 10pm to 4am local time.” 

The west African country has so far recorded 24 567 coronavirus cases and 565 deaths.

>> Algeria’s borders to remain closed

Algerian borders will remain closed “until Allah sets us free from this pandemic”, President Abdelamadjid Tebboune  said.

New cases reached another record in the north African country with 305  infections in one day. Three weeks after easing lockdown restrictions, Algeria has registered a huge surge in new infections in the province of Setif and other eastern parts of the country.” 

The authorities say it’s because of people ignoring preventive measures, and President Tebboune has ordered severe punishments against the offenders.” 

To date, Algeria has registered 13,571 cases and 905 deaths.

>>Mozambique extends state of emergency

According to BBC correspondent, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has extended the country’s state of emergency for another 30 days but relaxed some measures seen to be hurting the economy.” 

Stringent restrictions that have affected tourism, sports, trade and labour will be relaxed, he said in a televised address.” 

The president said colleges and universities will also reopen in the next 30 days, but must adhere to safety measures that will be announced by the government,” the BBC wrote.

The country has so far confirmed 859 cases of coronavirus and 5 deaths.

#Nigeria   #Algeria   #Mozambique

All Across Africa :  Developments in Senegal, South Africa and Rwanda

26-06-2020

>> Senegalese students back to school

Senegal has allowed students sitting for national exams back to school but under strict guidelines that include hand-washing, keeping social distance, temperature checks and wearing face masks, ”  according to the BBC.

It’s taken weeks of preparation for schools to reopen, including cleaning and disinfecting classrooms.” 

Learning days will last for six hours ending at 15:00 local time. School lunches have been cancelled and the sale of food in and around schools has been banned,” the BBC wrote. 

>> Casinos and cinemas to reopen in South Africa

South Africa will allow casinos and cinemas to reopen and restaurants to resume sit-down meals on Monday in a further easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions despite a sharp rise in infections,” Reuters wrote.

“The country began easing restrictions put in place in March last month and at the beginning of June allowed people outside for work, worship, exercise or shopping, and let mines and factories to run at full capacity to try to revive the economy. ”

South Africa remains the worst-hit country in the continent with over 118 000 infections and more than 2 200 deaths.

>> Rwanda reinstates lockdown in six villages of Kigali

Rwandan authorities re-imposed a stay-at-home order in six villages of the capital, Kigali, following a trend of new Covid-19 cases.

People living in Gikondo Hill in Kicukiro District, and some parts of Mount Kigali in Nyarugenge district, have been ordered to mmediately stay home for a period of at least 15 days, according to the BBC.

The order was announced on Thursday night and many residents woke up on Friday unaware of it,” the BBC wrote.

Rwanda has registered 850 cases, 385 recoveries and two deaths.

#Senegal      #SouthAfrica    #Rwanda   

All Across Africa: Ebola over in the DRC, Covid-19 vaccine trials in SA, 114-year-old Ethiopian recovers

25-06-2020

The total number of the coronavirus cases across the continent climbed to 336 019, according to Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

8 856 people have died of the virus, while 160 833 patients have recovered.

>> Ebola epidemic declared over in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Today marks the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),  according to the WHO.

 This long, complex and difficult outbreak has been overcome due to the leadership and commitment of the Government of the DRC, supported by the World Health Organization, a multitude of partners, donors, and above all, the efforts of the communities affected by the virus.

“The outbreak took so much from all of us, especially from the people of DRC, but we came out of it with valuable lessons, and valuable tools. The world is now better-equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed, and effective treatments identified,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

>> South Africa to begin first COVID-19 vaccine trials

 Oxford University rolled out Africa’s first human trials for a potential vaccine against the new coronavirus in South Africa on Wednesday, as cases continue to rise and concerns grow over potential access to life-saving treatments, Reuters wrote.

 The trial, conducted with local partner University of the Witwatersrand, will consist of 2,000 volunteers from 18 to 65 years of age, including some HIV positive patients, who will be monitored for 12 months after vaccination to asses how well the vaccine guards against COVID-19. 

 Once 60% of the population, especially the adult population, becomes immune, we expect that effective reproductive rate to go under 1, which basically means the virus will still be around, it will still circulate, but its chain of transmission has been interrupted,” Shabir Madhi, professor of vaccinology at Wits University and leader of the trial told Reuters.

>>’114-year-old’ Ethiopian recovers from Covid-19

“An Ethiopian man said by his family to be 114 years old has recovered from coronavirus, according to a Facebook post by Dr Yared Agidew, who runs the hospital in the capital, Addis Ababa, where the man was being treated, ” the BBC wrote.

“People over the age of 80 are considered to be most vulnerable if they catch the virus.” He “is fully recovered,” Dr Yared said in his post in Amharic. “He is now in good health.”

#DemocraticRepublicCongo   #SouthAfrica    #Ethiopia

All Across Africa : “The pandemic is accelerating,” the WHO says; over 326 000 confirmed cases.

24-06-2020

Africa has registered 326 236 coronavirus confirmed cases, 8 642 deaths and 154 877 recoveries. 

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, South Africa remains the worst-hit area in terms of cases with 110 756 people infected and 2 160 deaths.

North Africa is the second largest impacted area with 86 001 people infected, and 3 621 cumulative deaths.

Western Africa has registered 65 114 cases and 1 184 deaths.

Eastern Africa (33 183 cases and 990 deaths) and Central Africa (31 182 cases and 687 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

>> The WHO : African countries have coronavirus lab testing capacity 

“All African countries have now developed laboratory capacity to test for the coronavirus, the head of the World Health Organization announced on Wednesday,” Reuters Wrote.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating.

“The most recent one million cases of COVID-19 were reported in just one week,” Tedros added during a virtual conference on COVID-19 vaccine development.

According to WHO director-general, over 220 vaccine candidates are currently being worked on.

>> Extracts of the artemisia plant are active against the virus, researchers say

Scientists in Germany released data on Wednesday from laboratory tests showing that extracts of the artemisia plant are active against the virus causing Covid-19,” RFI said.

 The research is separate from claims by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina about the Covid-Organics herbal tea, but perhaps provides more of a scientific basis for clinical trials and research. 

Madagascar’s President Rajoelina has repeatedly praised a herbal concoction of the Artemisia annua plant, despite reservations by the World Health Organisation about the effectiveness of the Covid-Organics drink and lack of data,” according to RFI.

>>The sale of bushmeat continues in Nigeria

The sale of bushmeat – or wild animal meat – at markets continues in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, despite calls for a ban by the UN biodiversity office,” the BBC says.

At Olowu market in Epe, one of the most popular bushmeat markets in the city, wild animals are still on sale on a daily basis.

The traders insist wildlife meat is safe despite fears that a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, could have been where the coronavirus outbreak started,” according to the BBC correspondant.

#Nigeria

All Across Africa: Developments in Egypt, Sierra Leone and Eswatini

23-06-2020

There are now 315 370 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with 150 586 recoveries and 8 338 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

Southern Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with over 100 000 people infected so far.

>> Egypt to reopen restaurants and places of worship

« Egypt will reopen restaurants, cafes, and places of worship from the end of the week but will keep some restrictions in place to try to limit crowding, » Reuters wrote.

« Restaurants and cafes will operate at 25% capacity and shut at 10 pm from Saturday, while mosques will be open for daily praying but not for weekly Friday prayers. »

Egypt is one of Africa’s worst Covid-19 hot spots, with 56 809 cases and 2 278 deaths, according to Africa CDC.

>>Sierra Leone to ease coronavirus restrictions

« President Julius Maada Bio announced a raft of measures aimed at further relaxing coronavirus restrictions across the West African nation. The key takeaway being the adjusting of a curfew duration and the lifting of inter-district travel, » Africanews said.

« Effective immediately, the curfew is adjusted to the period 11pm to 6am. I announce a lifting of the ban on Inter-District travel starting on Wednesday, 24th June 2020. Once all measures are in place, commercial flights will resume in the very short run,» President Julius Maada Bio said in a tweet.

Sierra Leone has recorded 1 340 cases and 55 deaths so far.

>> Eswatini bans alcohol amid coronavirus

« The government in Eswatini has announced it will bring in a ban on the sale of alcohol from 1 July in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, » according to the BBC.

« In a series of tweets, the government said that the measure will be introduced after a surge of coronavirus cases in the last two weeks. »

« The government did not elaborate on why they believe alcohol is one of the leading causes of the spread of coronavirus, » the BBC said.

The country has registered 643 cases of coronavirus and six deaths so far.

#Egypt    #SierraLeone   #Eswatini

All Across Africa : Developments in C.A.R and South Africa, amid accelerating pandemic

22-06-2020

Africa hits grim milestone of 300 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, according to Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 8100 people have died of the virus, while 146 000 patients have recovered.

>> C.A.R imposes strict measures against coronavirus

“ The Authorities in Central African Republic have enforced the wearing of a mask and reducing crowds, two measures to limit the spread of coronavirus,” Africanews wrote.

“ Here at the Mortuary community hospital in the capital, Bangui, it is difficult to enforce social distancing measures. Security forces have been deployed at the entrance to limit the number of people in the facility,” Africanews correspondent in C.A.R said.

“According to the government’s regulations, so 12 o’clock is when the bodies are taken out, when the relations arrive not everybody has access, just four people go and get the body ready and everything else out behind the perimeter that’s been set up,” said Colonel Landry Ulrich Depot, Director General of the C.A.R Gendarmerie.

>> South Africa : Minibus drivers protest over coronavirus funding

“  Drivers of minibus taxis in South Africa’s financial hub Gauteng went on strike on Monday to demand more financial support from government, leaving thousands of commuters stranded , ” according to Reuters .

“  Dozens of taxis blocked busy roads in Johannesburg and Pretoria, confronting police and soldiers. Many people were stuck at taxi ranks, while others walked to work or piled onto buses.”

“ Since a coronavirus shutdown began in late March, taxis have been permitted to operate at only 70% capacity under strict social distancing measures, a difficult situation as the industry depends on maximum passenger loads at low prices », Reuters wrote.

>>  WHOs director general warns of accelerating pandemic

“The pandemic is still accelerating,” WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a virtual health forum organised by the United Arab Emirates.

“We know that the pandemic is much more than a health crisis, it is an economic crisis, a social crisis and in many countries a political crisis, » according to Tedros.

“We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world,” he said. “The politicisation of the pandemic has exacerbated it.”

#CentralAfricanRepublic      #SouthAfrica

ALL ACROSS AFRICA : TOP HEADLINES

19-06-2020

A “new and dangerous phase” of the pandemic has begun, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference. The number of new confirmed cases registered Thursday “were the most in a single day so far”, at 150 000 and almost half of them are recorded in the Americas.

“Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies. But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible,” Tedros said. 

>> Morocco records highest daily rise so far

Morocco has registered 539 coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest daily rise so far.

Over 450 infections were recorded in a strawberry packing plant, in a rural area in the western Rabat-Kenitra region.

According to the Health Ministry, the country has reached  9 613 confirmed cases, with a mortality rate of 2.2% and a recovery rate of 84.5%.

The North African country prepares to relax restrictions implemented to contain the virus on June 24.

>> Highest Single-Day spike of 1 774 Covid-19 cases in Egypt

Egypt witnessed its biggest single-day spike with 1 774 infections in the last 24 hours, on Friday, edging the total number of cases up to more than 52,211 since the outbreak began in mid-February, the health ministry announced.

According to official figures, 79 people have died from coronavirus in one day, bringing the total deaths to 2 017.

Egypt has become a hot spot for the virus in Africa despite government measures to control its spread.

>> World Refugee Day amid coronavirus pandemic

“As this year’s World Refugee Day is marked in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, the UN is warning of an increase in local transmissions and urging countries to continue preparing,”  the BBC wrote.

 ‘’In Eastern Africa more there are more than 21,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in host countries, where more than 4 million refugees and 8 million other displaced people are vulnerable.And while there has been no widespread outbreak in refugee camps, social distancing can be hard to maintain because of overcrowding,” according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“The camps have managed to keep their infection rates low by enforcing strict measures. Fewer than 15 refugees and health workers had tested positive by mid-June. But pre-existing challenges make managing Covid-19 difficult.”

#Morocco    #Egypt

ALL ACROSS AFRICA : TOP HEADLINES

18-06-2020

The total number of the coronavirus cases across the continent climbed to 268 391, according to Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

7,217 people have died of the virus, while 122,661 patients have recovered, according to data.

>>Sudan extends lockdown in Khartoum to June 29

« Sudan has extended a lockdown in the state of Khartoum to June 29 as it tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, » according to REUTERS. Khartoum state, including the capital, is the Arab African country’s most populous.  « Curfew hours will remain unchanged, from 3 p.m. until 6 a.m., the council said in a statement issued after approving the recommendations of its Supreme Committee for Health Emergencies. » The country has recorded 8020 confirmed cases and 487 deaths so far.

>>West Africa takes tentative steps to re-open region after Covid-19 crisis

« West African countries that had imposed travel restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19 are contemplating coordinating efforts to allow travelers from countries within the region to enter to conduct cross-border trade, » RFI wrote. « In a video meeting with the 15-member regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) foreign and trade ministers, a new proposal was tabled to allow cross-border trade within the country bloc by the first two weeks in July. 

 The ministers’ proposal is a three-phased solution that will be discussed at the next heads of state ECOWAS summit. »

« For phase one, domestic air and land transport would be opened by the end on this month. Some governments have already gone ahead to do this, » RFI said.

>> The WHO concerned over COVID-19 impact on women, girls in Africa

“We are already seeing that the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls is profound. Women are disproportionately affected by lockdowns and this is resulting in a reduced access to health services,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

“We are working with governments and partners to find ways to continue to deliver essential services safely, including the provision of personal protective equipment to health workers, many of whom are nurses and are women,” Dr Moeti, added.

” Informal workers, most of whom are women, represent more than 90% of the labour force in sub-Saharan Africa. ” according to the WHO Africa.

#Sudan

ALL ACROSS AFRICA : TOP HEADLINES

17-06-2020

Africa has registered over 260 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 7 019 deaths and 118 992 recoveries. 

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, South Africa remains the worst-hit area in terms of cases with  80 111 people infected and 1 661 deaths. North Africa is the second largest impacted area with 71 640 people infected, and  2 919 cumulative deaths. Western Africa has registered 54 393 cases and 1 021 deaths. Eastern Africa (28 508 cases and 857 deaths) and Central Africa (25 581 cases and 561 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

>> Life-saving drug proves effective against COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO)  welcomes the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 .

For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”

Tedros also added that “Dexamethasone was shown to not have a beneficial effect for those with milder disease, who did not need respiratory support,” Tedros said.

“We need more therapeutics that can be used to tackle COVID-19, including those with milder symptoms.”

>>Casinos, cinemas and restaurants to reopen in South Africa

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that casinos, cinemas and sit-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen as the country gradually eases coronavirus lockdown.

A date of when these businesses will resume their activities will be announced in due course.

“In each instance stringent requirements have been agreed will need to be put in place before any activity can reopen. These protocols are to be strictly adhered to. Announcements will be made in due course for the date these will be permitted,” Ramaphosa added. 

“This is a global pandemic and most countries are facing exactly the same challenges. We must find ways to resolve the dilemmas we are facing.”

According to data by Africa CDC, South Africa is the continents’s worst affected country by coronavirus, having reported over 73 000 infections and more than 1 500 deaths.

>> Nigeria: Lagos suspends plans to reopen places of worship

Due to the continuous increase of COVID-19 cases in our state, we have rescinded till further notice our earlier decision to open churches and mosques for worship” , Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a tweet.

We will ultimately defeat this virus if we remain vigilant and do not take anything for granted”, he added.

Places of worship – which the government ordered to close closed in March to contain the virus- were due to open from June 19.

Nigeria has recorded 16 658 confirmed cases and 424 deaths so far. The countrys commercial hub Lagos is the epicentre of the outbreak.

# South Africa    #Nigeria

ALL ACROSS AFRICA : TOP HEADLINES

16-06-2020

There are now 252 544 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with 114 897 recoveries and 6 779 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

Southern Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with 69 720 cases and 2 811 deaths. Northern Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (69 720 people infected and 2 811 deaths), while Western Africa is in third place with 52 634 cases and a total of 972 deaths. Eastern Africa (27 695 cases and 842 deaths) and Central Africa (25 240 cases and 551 deaths) remain the two least affected regions.

>>Africa coronavirus spread is accelerating

According to public health experts , confirmed coronavirus cases are rising faster in Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also expressed concerns over the coronavirus spreading quickly across the continent.

“Even though these cases in Africa account for less than 3 percent of the global total, it’s clear that this pandemic is accelerating,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O.’s regional director for Africa, said in a video briefing .

The number of infections  in Africa have doubled to reach 200,000 in 18 days , while the first 100,000 cases took 98 days.

>> Schools to re-open on June 29 in Tanzania

Tanzanias resident, John Magufuli ordered re-opening of all schools on June 29, during a speech at the dissolution of the 11th parliament.

Magufuli said with regular drop in coronavirus cases, there was no need to keep schools closed. He, however, tasked members of the public to adhere to health and hygiene protocols.

Schools were closed in March  to contain the coronavirus, which affected  509 patients with 21 deaths, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

>> Nigeria : A Three-Year COVID-19 response plan

The Nigerian government says it is developing a three-year action plan for its response to the pandemic.It also said it is not yet safe to reopen schools and other places where large gatherings could take place” the BBC wrote.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told journalists that the pandemic “will be with us for a long time and we shall keep learning as we go along”.

 He said the response plan covers the short, middle and long term effect of the pandemic.Tracing, testing and case management will also be driven by data and evidence.

The minister decried what he described as an escalation in the level of non-compliance with social distancing and wearing of face masks especially in markets and motor parks“ , according to the BBC.

#Tanzania     #Nigeria

ALL ACROSS AFRICA : TOP HEADLINES

15-06-2020

Africa has now reached a total of 244 055 confirmed cases and 6 546 deaths, according to data by the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in its Monday update.

In terms of recoveries, new cases were recorded, bringing the number to 111 254 .

South Africa has registered a total of 73 659 cases, North Africa 67 702 , West Africa 51 507 , East Africa 26 997 and Central Africa 24 190 .

>> Ghana’s president says health minister diagnosed with coronavirus

Ghana’s health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu is recovering at a hospital and is in stable condition after contracting the new coronavirus, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a broadcast.

“Let us wish our hardworking minister for health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, a speedy recovery from the virus, which he contracted in the line of duty,” Akufo-Addo added.

He also announced that final year students in secondary schools and universities would go back to classes this week.

Ghana has recorded 11,964 positive coronavirus cases, one of the highest in the West African region, but has also registered one of the lowest number of deaths from the virus.

With 54 deaths recorded so far, the ratio of deaths to positive cases stands at 0.4% in Ghana , compared to the global average of 5.5%, Akufo-Addo said.

>> Morocco sends medical supplies to 15 African countries

Morocco sent 8 million masks and other medical supplies to help 15 African countries tin their fight against the novel coronavirus, as instructed  by Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

The medical supplies also include 900,000 visors, 600,000 hygiene caps, 60,000 medical coats, 30,000 litres of hydroalcoholic gel, 75,000 packs of chloroquine and 15,000 packs of Azithromycin.

The aid will benefit Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Chad and Zambia, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

>>Kenya relaxes guideline on burial of coronavirus victims

Kenya’s health ministry has eased a measure that required families to bury Covid-19 victims within 48 hours after death.

‘’The stringent measure had caused an outcry after families were forced to hold night burials to beat the deadline’’, the BBC wrote.

“If you look at the transmission of Covid-19 against other infections, there is very little likelihood that one stands a chance of getting infected from a body, if treated well,” Patrick Amoth, the ministry’s director general said.

“Since the start of the pandemic, local administrators have been enforcing the rule regardless of the cause of death.The latest incident happened last week in the lakeside town of Kisumu, where fans of a local musician clashed with police while protesting against his rushed burial », according to the BBC.

#Ghana      #Morocco       #Kenya

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

12-06-2020

Africa has registered over 218 229 coronavirus confirmed cases, 5 791 deaths and 97 891 recoveries. 

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, South Africa is now the worst-hit area in terms of cases with 61 901 people infected and 1 239 deaths.

North Africa is the second largest impacted area with 61 665 people infected, and 2 455 cumulative deaths.

Western Africa has registered 47 106 cases and 888 deaths.

Eastern Africa (24 979 cases and 743 deaths) and Central Africa (22 578 cases and 466 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

>Africa CDC urges Tanzania to share coronavirus data

John Nkengasong, director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says “we continue to remain hopeful” that Tanzanian authorities will share their coronavirus data, days after president John Magufuli declared the country virus-free.

“I believe, and I’m certain that many Tanzanians believe, that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” Mr. Magufuli said in a church in the capital, Dodoma.

“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us.”

However, The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed worries over the government’s strategy to contain the virus.

 

>Botswana Reinstates Strict Coronavirus Lockdown in Capital City

“Botswana brought back a strict coronavirus lockdown in its capital city, Gaborone, and surrounding areas after the southern African country recorded 12 new cases of the virus, a senior health official said late on Friday”, according to Reuters.

“Diamond-rich Botswana ended a 48-day national coronavirus lockdown late last month, allowing businesses and schools to reopen under controls, but its borders are still closed apart from for returning citizens and imports of essential goods.”

But Malaki Tshipayagae, the country’s director of health services, said in a televised announcement that officials had recorded four new imported cases at its borders and eight at a private hospital in Gaborone, bringing cumulative cases to 60.

“We are still to determine whether the hospital cases are local transmissions,” Tshipayagae said. “From midnight today the greater Gaborone area will revert to extreme social distancing until further notice, where only essential services will be allowed to operate.”

 

>Nigeria became the third African country to record 10 000 cases

According to Africanews, “Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, became the third African country to record over 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The milestone was reached on May 31 when 307 new cases took its tally to 10,162.”

“As Africa’s biggest economy, the federal government has continued to enforce regulations across the board even though most state governments have moved to relax restrictions.”

Lagos being the economic nerve center is rolling out a progressive reopening of the economy. It is the most impacted state with over 5,000 cases as of May 31. Only Cross River State had yet to record a case.”

“The national response is led by the Presidential Task Force, PTF, led by SGF Boss Mustapha along with a national coordinator and relevant ministers – chief among them, Health, Foreign Affairs and Education ministries.”

#Tanzania          #Botswana         #Nigeria

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

11-06-2020

Africa has registered over 210 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 5692 deaths and 95 781 recoveries, according to data by Africa Center for Disease Control. Northern Africa remains the worst-hit region with 59 928 cases and 2 400 deaths, while Southern Africa is the second largest hotspot with 58 514 cases and 1 238 deaths.

>WHO: The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating in Africa

The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating in Africa, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

“Even though these cases in Africa account for less than 3 percent of the global total, it’s clear that the pandemic is accelerating,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Africa regional director told a news briefing for Geneva-based U.N. correspondents.   “We believe that large numbers of severe cases and deaths are not being missed in Africa”, she said.

According to the WHO, “Africa will have a steady increase in COVID-19 cases until a vaccine is developed and strong public health measures are needed in current hotspots in South Africa, Algeria and Cameroon.”

“Until such time as we have access to an effective vaccine, I’m afraid we’ll probably have to live with a steady increase in the region, with some hotspots having to be managed in a number of countries, as is happening now in South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon for example, which require very strong public health measures, social distancing measures to take place”, Moeti said.

 

>Morocco gradually eases restrictions

Moroccan authorities eased the strict lockdown measures implemented since March to contain the epidemic. However, the government divided the country into two zones, taking into consideration the disparities in the infection rate between cities and regions.

Moroccans can’t leave their homes without permits in areas with higher numbers of coronavirus cases including some larger cities. Restaurants, cafes, cinemas and other businesses also remain shut.

But opposition members of parliament on criticized the extension of parts of the country’s coronavirus lockdown,

“Moroccans are exhausted…Their desire to end the lockdown reflects the shocking reality of social and economic confinement,” said Abdellatif Ouahbi, head of the largest opposition party PAM.

Abdellah Bouano of the Islamist PJD party that is part of the ruling coalition, said maintaining the strict lockdown showed “a lack of vision” and urged a return to normalcy.

>Democratic Republic of Congo mines “abusing workers” during coronavirus

Activists have accused foreign mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo of abusing the rights of workers during the coronavirus pandemic”, according to the BBC.

“The country is a major source of minerals, supplying about 70% of the world’s cobalt which is critical for rechargeable batteries.”

“The rights groups say workers have been told to stay on site 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, or lose their jobs.”

In six mines, they have been confined for the past two months.

“Photos show crowded dormitories where it is impossible for workers to keep at a safe distance from each other.”

#Morocco      #Democratic Republic of Congo

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

10-06-2020

Africa reached a grim milestone, surpassing 200 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, including more than 5 500 deaths and over 91 000 recoveries.

North Africa remains the largest hot spot in terms of Covid-19 infection with 58 134 cases and 2 337 deaths, according to Africa Center for Disease Control.

Southern Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (56 011 people infected and 1 190 deaths). Western Africa is in third place with 44 220 cases and a total of 856 deaths.

Eastern Africa (23 806 cases and 696 deaths) and Central Africa (21 728 cases and 451 deaths) have the lowest coronavirus infection rates.

>DRC facing a triple threat of Covid-19, Ebola and measles

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo officially announced the eleventh Ebola outbreak in the country after a cluster of cases was detected in the Mbandaka area of Equateur Province. 

DRC is now fighting a triple threat of three major health outbreaks – the Ebola Virus, Measles and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congo is also facing armed conflict. “The accumulative effect is mind boggling. Communities have to face multiple challenges at the same time,” Robert Ghosn, head of emergency operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in DRC told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

>Ghana’s Incas Diagnostics expects approval for COVID-19 antibody test

According to Reuters, “Ghana’s Incas Diagnostics expects the country’s regulator to approve its new COVID-19 antibody test by the end of July, saying its kits could help health authorities ease pandemic restrictions.”

“The company is also working with developers in Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa and Senegal, with backing from the World Health Organization (WHO), on a mobile app that would help trace people potentially at high-risk of getting the virus.”

“Ghana has reported one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Africa with nearly 10,000. The West African country has begun a phased easing of restrictions to curb the spread of the virus and plans to reopen schools and universities from June 15.”

> Uganda is preparing to have 40,000 hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients

“Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said the country is preparing to have 40,000 hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients”, according to the BBC.

“The president said the Ministry of Health was initially planning for 9,000 extra beds, some at Namboole Stadium in the capital, Kampala.But he said that he had told officials to organise more beds at other locations as well.”

Uganda has so far registered 657 cases of Covid-19 and 0 deaths.

# Democratic Republic of Congo    #Ghana

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

08-06-2020

Africa continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic with new cases recorded each day. The number of people infected across the continent rose to 189 434 as of June 8th, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The Africa CDC in its latest update revealed that the death toll from the pandemic also rose to 5 175.

>President John Magufuli said Tanzania is “coronavirus-free”

“I believe, and I’m certain that many Tanzanians believe, that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” Mr. Magufuli said in a church in the capital, Dodoma.

“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us.”

However, The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed worries over the government’s strategy to contain the virus.

Tanzanian authorities have also been criticized for not giving updates related to coronavirus cases in the country.

>South Africa re-opens schools

South Africa re-opens schools on Monday as part of gradual lifting of restrictions imposed on the country.

“The resumption of the school year had been delayed after teachers’ unions urged school staff to defy an order to return to work last week, saying schools did not have enough masks, gloves and other equipment.”, according to Reuters.

“But the biggest union dropped its objections and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Sunday that ramped-up efforts to equip schools meant 95% of primary and secondary schools could now host classes.”

South Africa remains the most affected country in the continent with 50 879 confirmed cases and 1 080 deaths.

>South Sudan’s vice-president recovers from Covid-19

South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar and his wife, Defense Minister Angelina Teny, have recovered from COVID-19, an official statement said.

“The First Vice President, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, and the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, H.E. Madam Angelina Teny, have both been discharged today (Saturday) after fully recovered from the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” a statement from Machar’s office said on Saturday.

“The two leaders are therefore expected to resume their daily active public office on Monday, 8 June, 2020,” the statement reads in part.

South Sudan has registered 1,317 cases of coronavirus so far.

#Tanzania #South Africa #South Sudan

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

05-06-2020

Africa has reached 171 206 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Africa CDC also revealed in its latest update that the death toll from the pandemic rose from 4 611 to 4 766, in the past 24 hours.

The most affected African countries by the coronavirus include South Africa with 40,792 confirmed cases, Egypt with 29,767 confirmed cases, Nigeria with 11,516 confirmed cases, Algeria with 9,831 confirmed cases, Ghana with 8,885 confirmed cases and Morocco with 8,030 confirmed cases.

>South Africa registers record jump in Covid-19 cases

South Africa has registered a record jump in Covid-19 cases as authorities gradually ease the lockdown.

3,267 new patients tested positive on Thursday, the highest number recorded in a single day since the virus appeared in the country.

According to The Guardian, “Nearly two thirds of the country’s cases are in the Western Cape province, where Cape Town is the biggest city, and health services are under pressure. The region is also a major tourist destination, and local authorities have implemented one of the most rigorous testing regimes in the country”.

“South Africa’s strict lockdown began on 27 March, sharply limiting freedom of movement and slowing an economy already in recession. Restrictions were eased to level 3 on Monday which opened up large parts of the economy and abolished curfews. Alcohol went back on sale under strict rules but tobacco sales remain banned.”

>WHO changes coronavirus mask guidance

The World Health Organization has changed its coronavirus mask guidance on Friday, saying they should be worn in public.

 In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread #COVID19 transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments’’ said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID19 and should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes physical distancing and hand hygiene”, he added.

“The updated guidance also contains new information on the composition of fabric masks. WHO advises that fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different material. We also provide guidance on how to wash and maintain a fabric mask & how to use a mask safely.”

#South Africa

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

04-06-2020

Africa has registered over 163 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 4611 deaths and 70 894 recoveries. 

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, North Africa is the worst-hit area with 48 266 people infected, and 2 053 cumulative deaths.

Southern Africa is the second largest impacted area with 39 971 confirmed cases and 817 deaths. Western Africa, where 37 742 people got infected and 758 have died, ranks third in terms of confirmed cases.

Eastern Africa (19 796 cases and 567 deaths) and Central Africa (17 824 cases and 416 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

>Senegal relaxes night curfew, after two nights of protests against restrictions

Senegalese authorities relaxes night curfew and resumes inter-regional transport across the country on June 4, after two nights of protests against restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19.

From Thursday, the curfew is pushed back to 23H00, instead of 21H00 and ends at 5H00 in the morning, Interior Minister said.

“Meetings in public or private places, restaurants, gyms, casinos will benefit from the same relaxation measures,” he added.

The West African country has recorded 4 021 cases and 45 deaths so far.

>Tunisia to reopen borders on June 27

Tunisian authorities decided to resume its commercial flights and to reopen its sea, land and air borders on June 27, authorities said.

“On June 27th we’re talking about opening borders. That is to say that we can see other companies than the national companies, landing at Tunis-Carthage airport or other airports in the country. That is why we want to make sure that our infrastructure is ready to eventually receive, travelers, visitors, customers, whether through tour operators or individually”, Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Ali Toumi announced.

Tunisia where 1 087 cases and 49 deaths are recorded so far, scheduled full de-confinement for June 14.

>Cameroon accused of not taking the pandemic seriously

Measures taken to contain Covid-19 are triggering an avalanche of criticism in one of Central Africa hotspots.

Cameroon has reached 6 789 cases and 203 deaths. However, the government did not impose strict confinement rules unlike neighboring countries. Bars, restaurants and discotheques remained open and there was no containment period defined despite continued rise in coronavirus cases.

The government has also decided to reopen schools, colleges high schools and universities, even though it expects an epidemic peak in June,

#Senegal #Tunisia #Cameroon

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

03.06.2020

Africa continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic with new cases recorded each day. The number of people infected across the continent rose to 158 318 as of June 3th, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The Africa CDC in its latest update revealed that the death toll from the pandemic also rose to 4 508.

The Northern region is the most impacted area both in terms of confirmed cases ( 47 009) , as well as the number of deaths ( 2 010).

>The World Health Organization resumes hydroxychloroquine trials

The World Health Organization resumes hydroxychloroquine trials for Covid-19 treatment, after stopping research over safety concerns. The decision was based on a study, published on May 22 in the medical journal Lancet that said anti-malarial drug raises the risk of death for Covid-19 patients.

However, the quality of data used in this study is now being questioned by leading medical journals including The Lancet.

‘‘Based on available data, the #COVID19 Solidarity Trial Data Safety & Monitoring Committee recommended there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol. The Executive Group endorsed the continuation of all arms of the Trial, including the use of hydroxychloroquine’’, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference Wednesday at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” he added.

> Senegal postpones reopening schools, amid pandemic fears

Senegal has postponed reopening schools after a cluster of infections was found among teachers, the education ministry said.

The government announced on May 20 that schools would gradually restart on June 2, after several weeks of shutdown. The west African country has so far registered 3,836 COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths.

Senegal was the latest country in the West and Central Africa region to plan resuming schools despite a rising number of infections.

> 812 Nigerian healthcare workers tested positive

Speaking at the daily brief of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Director-General of the NCDC said : “We have had 812 healthcare workers infected, they are not just numbers, 29 of these work for NCDC, they are people I know, they have families, wives and children. About eight of them are in Idu treatment centre, so they are not just number, they are people and mothers, we must remember.”

“The easing of the restriction doesn’t mean the easing of the response, in fact, the response is being strengthened Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu added.

“I want to spend today to reflect on some numbers because crossing that 10,000 mark was quite significant. It is very important for us to remember that these are people, behind the numbers. At NCDC, we engage with these people every day.”

#Senegal    #Nigeria

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

02-06-2020

There are now coronavirus cases in Africa, including 153 325 cases, 4 356 deaths and 64 793 recoveries.

North Africa is the worst-hit region with 45 598 people infected, 1 950 patients who died and 19 685 who recovered, while Central Africa remains the least impacted area (16 572 cases and 403 deaths).

South Africa has the most reported cases (34 357, with 705 deaths). Other most-affected countries are Egypt (26 384 cases), Nigeria (10 578), Algeria (9 513), and Ghana (8 070).

>Nigeria lifts restrictions on churches and mosques

Nigerian authorities have lifted the ban imposed on churches and mosques during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, worship centres will be under strict restrictions, according to Chairman of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force, on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha.

“All places of worship must commit to implementing: – Limit congregational gathering times; regular services only. Total time for Friday prayers & Sunday Services should not exceed 1 hour – Mosques open only for 5 daily prayers & Friday prayers – Churches only for Sunday services”, PTFCOVID-19 National Coordinator said on Twitter.

« Covid-19 is not over in Nigeria, we are in the exponential phase of the disease, we have now moved to 3rd position in Africa. We must therefore continue to take precautionary measures; now is NOT the time to relax”, he added.

>Zimbabwe tightens coronavirus lockdown

“Zimbabwean troops and police on Tuesday tightened the coronavirus lockdown in the capital Harare, blocking many cars and buses from entering the central business district as cases of infections increased”, according to Reuters.

“But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was trying to suppress protests over a worsening economy and to stop MDC supporters from gathering at the courts where the lawyer for its leader was due to appear after being arrested on Monday”.

>Ebola reappears in Congo despite coronavirus lockdown

Congo reported a new Ebola outbreak, despite coronavirus lockdown.

“The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak,” WHO said in a statement. 

Five peoplehave died of Ebola in a recent outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Monday. Nine cases total have been reported, UNICEF said.

“Four additional people who contracted the virus — all contacts of the deceased and including the child of one of the fatal cases — are being treated in an isolation unit at the Wangata Hospital in Mbandaka,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“The deaths occurred between the 18th and 30th of May but they were only confirmed as Ebola-related yesterday.”

Nigeria    Zimbabwe     Democratic Republic of the Congo

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

01-06-2020

Almost 5,560 more people in Africa tested positive for Covid-19 and 165 more patients died in the past 24 hours, according to data by the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in its Monday update.

Africa has now reached a total of 147 099 confirmed cases and 4 228 deaths.

In terms of recoveries, 2 596 new cases were recorded, bringing the number to 61 808.

North Africa has registered a total of 43 900 cases, West Africa 35 100, Southern Africa 34 900, East Africa 17 000 and Central Africa 16 100.

> South Africa eases lockdown to revive economy

South Africa partly lifted its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, allowing numerous businesses mines and factories to reopen.

“After 65 days of a nation-wide lockdown, the country is today starting a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus. Many economic and social activities are restarting, including a phased resumption of schooling.” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

“We are taking a gradual approach, guided by the advice of our scientists and led by the realities on the ground and consultations with stakeholders” he added.

South Africa has so far more than 705 deaths and over 34 000 confirmed cases.

>Rwanda registers first coronavirus death

Rwanda appears to have reversed its plan to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions. This decision was taken after the east African country recorded its first coronavirus death.

“After reassessment, transportation between provinces and the City of Kigali, as well as passenger moto services will remain closed until further notice in the interest of public health. Further Covid-19 measures will be announced by Cabinet on Tuesday 2 June” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

So far Rwanda has 370 confirmed cases, with 256 recoveries and one death.

>Morocco repatriates its nationals stranded in Algeria

During the weekend, Moroccan authorities repatriated a group of its nationals stranded in Algeria, through three Royal Air Maroc flights to Oujda.

“Moroccans repatriated from Algeria have been sent to a hotel in Saidia to observe a compulsory quarantine. They are expected to undergo coronavirus tests to rule out any infection”, according to Yabiladi.

“For the record, around 300 Moroccans, that had been stranded in Algeria since March, were contacted Friday by the Moroccan embassy in Algiers and informed of their repatriation”.

Morocco has registered 7 833 cases and 205 deaths so far. The north African country praised for its coronavirus early response, remains under lockdown until June 10.

#SouthAfrica      #Rwanda   #Morocco

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

29.05.2020

Africa has now reached 129 565 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3 790 deaths and 53 414 recoveries. Infection rate in Africa remains lower than in other continents due to “strong country leadership”, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Africa said.

“With strong country leadership and implementation of social and public health measures, cases in Africa remain lower than in some other parts of the world,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti told a media briefing with WHO and the World Economic Forum.

”However, we cannot let our guard down, and we cannot be complacent.”

>With no deaths, Namibia eases social and economic Covid-19 restrictions

Namibia, which has recorded no coronavirus deaths, will move onto stage 3 of the

lockdown strategy as it eases restrictions on social and economic activities.

However, the harbour town of Walvis Bay will implement level one, the most restrictive, for seven days after two patients tested positive.

“Midnight on Monday 01st June 2020 all 14 regions, with the exception of the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area, will transit from STAGE 2 to more moderate precautions under STAGE 3, until 29 June 2020, for a period of 28 days or two incubation periods”, the president wrote on Twitter.

“All the new cases have been placed into isolation facilities at /Kharas, Hardap and Erongo regions. The identification, contact tracing, testing and quarantine of exposed individuals, is ongoing”, Hage Geingob said.

>Ethiopia approves supplementary budget to beat virus impact

According to Finance minister Ahmed Shide, “The [ethiopian] economy is being highly impacted due to coronavirus and the government have to assist.”

Therefore, Ethiopian parliament approved a budget worth $1.43 billion to help the economy beat the Covid-19 impact.

By government’s latest the estimates, 30 million people in the country of more than 110 million now need humanitarian assistance, as coronavirus takes its toll on the already slowing down economy.

Ethiopia, where 968 cases and 8 deaths are recorded so far, is also facing the socio-economic costs of flooding and locust.

>Madagascar backtracks on COVID-19 clinical trials for herbal cure

Malgasy president Andry Rajoelina announced this week a clinical trial plan involving injectable extracts of the Artemisia plant, as coronavirus treatment.

“There’s already major clinical trials taking place in the US of an artemisia-based injection remedy. This remedy already exists, we will use it. It’s already been discussed with the WHO,” said Rajoelina, during a visit to Toamasina.

But the president appeared to backtrack on his statement. According to AfricaNews “Michelle Sahondrarimalala, a medical doctor and director from Legal Studies at the presidency, in clarification said the president had been misunderstood”.

#Namibia        #Ethiopia         #Madagascar

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

28-05-2020

Confirmed coronavirus cases have reached 124 482, while deaths rose to 3 696. But Africa has so far remained the least affected continent, with 1,5% of the world’s reported Coronavirus cases and 0,1% of the world’s deaths, according to WHO.

“Many hypotheses have been suggested for this paradox, including sensitivity of the virus to ambient temperature, Africa’s comparatively young population, lower rates of obesity, and familiarity with infectious disease outbreaks, “medical magazine The Lancet wrote.

“Low levels of testing might be artificially lowering apparent infection rates. The situation in the continent is highly heterogeneous and progress varies considerably.”

According to data by Africa CDC, North Africa has the highest toll, followed by West, Southern, Central and East Africa.

> Senegal sticks with chloroquine virus treatment, despite warnings

“Senegal will continue treating Covid-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine”, a senior health official said on Wednesday even after the World Health Organisation suspended clinical trials of the anti-malarial drug.

The decision came after the medical journal The Lancet published a study that said hydroxychloroquine could raise death risk in Covid19 patients.

Abdoulaye Bousso, who heads Senegal’s Centre for Health Emergency Operations, told AFP that Senegal’s hydroxychloroquine treatment programme would nonetheless continue, without offering further details.

> Zimbabwe: Coronavirus cases double in a day

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Zimbabwe doubled to 132 over the past 24 hours, the Secretary of Information said on Wednesday.

“ Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 positive cases have now spiked to 132. The 76 new cases have been recorded in the Beitbridge, Masvingo and Harare. All new cases except one have been registered among returnees from mainly South Africa and Botswana. Only one case is a local transmission” , Nick Mangwana wrote on Twitter.

Over 4,000 Zimbabweans have returned to the country in the past 30 days, the government said.

> Cases of community transmission growing in Africa

“Cases of community transmission of the new coronavirus are growing in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, and a new strategy for testing is needed to prevent this, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday”, according to Reuters.

“We are beginning to see sustained community transmission within Ethiopia and many other countries across Africa.

“That means we need to increase our public health measures like distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands,” John Nkengasong told journalists.

He said “countries should modify the way they test their population – instead of focusing on testing people arriving at airports, governments should switch to surveillance testing of those with flu-like symptoms”.

“Nkengasong said almost two million tests had been carried out across the continent and the goal is to carry out 12 million tests.”

#Senegal            #Zimbabwe               #Ethiopia

ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

27-05-2020

As of May 27, Africa has reached 119 391 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3589 deaths and 48 618 recoveries.

South Africa is the worst-hit country with 24 264 people infected and 524 deaths numbering. Other most-affected countries are Egypt (18,756 cases), Algeria (8,697), Nigeria (8,344) and Morocco (7,601).

>Kenya rolls out testing in one of Africa’s biggest slums

Kenya is offering public testing for Covid-19, in one of its biggest urban slums, where residents say being virus-free increases their chances to get employed.

“Nowadays when you look for work, they first ask to see your results first,” Shadrack Jumba, a resident of Kibera, located in Nairobi’s southwest, told Reuters as health workers took samples from people on Tuesday.

“They ask you to go back and get tested. If your results come back negative, you are fine, but with no test results, it’s a bit difficult to get employed.”

Kenya has so far registered 1,348 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 52 deaths.

>South African Airways (SAA) plans to resume domestic flights

South African Airways plans to resume domestic flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town from mid-June, amid lockdown ease.

“Everyone at SAA is looking forward to welcoming and serving our customers once again. Our operational preparedness is underlined by the significant role the airline has played in global repatriations to and from South Africa, and by our desire to serve the domestic market,”  SAA’s chief commercial, Philip Saunders officer said.

SAA, suspended all commercial passenger flights in late March, when the authorities decided to implement a strict lockdown in South Africa.

>Malawians repatriated from South Africa flee isolation sites

Over 400 Malawians repatriated from South Africa, including individuals tested positive, fled isolation sites in the city of Blantyre.

According to AFP, “more than a dozen were staying in an isolation centre after testing positive for the virus at the border.”

“The rest had been quarantined at a soccer stadium, where they were awaiting further test results.”

“They have all gone home on their own,” district health officer Gift Kawaladzira told AFP.

“By then, 16 were positive already. Others were waiting for lab results,” he added. “If most of them have Covid-19, then we are facing very difficult times ahead.”

#Kenya  #South Africa  #Malawi

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: STATISTICS AND TOP HEADLINES

26.05.2020

There are now 115 616 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with more than 46 630 recoveries and 3 479 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with 35 389 cases and 1 651 deaths. Western Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (29 966 people infected and 632 deaths).  Southern Africa is in third place with 25 285 cases and a total of 504 deaths, while Eastern Africa (12 809 cases and 349 deaths) and Central Africa (12 167 cases and 343 deaths) remain the two least affected regions.

>Madagascar has deployed soldiers, after bodies were found in the streets

Malgasy authorities have announced the deployment of 150 soldiers in the largest second city, Toamasina after several bodies were found in the streets.

“Doctors must carry out thorough examinations to see if these deaths are caused by another illness (…) or if they are really due to severe acute respiratory problems which is the critical form of COVID-19,” Professor Hanta Marie Danielle Vololontiana, spokesperson for the government’s virus taskforce, said in a national broadcast.

Madagascar has registered more than 540 cases and two deaths so far.

>Experts warn about lack of coronavirus test kits in Africa

According to The Guardian, “Public health experts have warned about the risks of low supplies of coronavirus test kits as lockdowns in African countries begin to ease and urban populations become more mobile.”

“Different countries on the continent have adopted a range of testing strategies, but international competition for test kits and a lack of global coordination of resources have meant many African countries are testing with significantly limited reach.”

Kate Dooley, the director for West Africa at the Tony Blair Institute, told The Guardian: “Most governments are currently rationing their use of test kits given limited supplies. We are aware of some cases where African governments who placed orders in early March are still yet to receive the supply, six to eight weeks later.”

>The pandemic threatens livelihood of 164 million workers in Africa

164 million workers in Africa’s informal economy are in danger of losing their livelihoods, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its latest report.

“The informal economy refers to all economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements.”

“The ILO (2018)4 report indicates that informal employment is the main source of employment in Africa, accounting for 85.8 per cent of all employment.”

According to the UN agency, 164 African workers are stuck under complete lockdown measures, while 101 million informal workers are under partial lockdown.

#Madagascar

ALL ACROSS AFRICA :  TOP HEADLINES AND STATISTICS of the day

25.05.2020

Africa has registered over 112 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 3359 deaths and 44 920 recoveries.

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, North Africa is the worst-hit area with 34 429 people infected, and 1 621 cumulative deaths.

Western Africa is the second largest impacted area with 29 433 confirmed cases and 615 deaths. Southern Africa, where 24 231 people got infected and 451 have died, ranks third in terms of confirmed cases.

Eastern Africa (12 291 cases and 332 deaths) and Central Africa (11 906 cases and 340 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

Here are the most-affected countries in Africa:

  • South Africa: 22 583 cases, 429 deaths
  • Egypt: 17 265 cases, 764 deaths
  • Algeria: 8 306 cases, 600 deaths
  • Nigeria: 7 839 cases, 226 deaths
  • Morocco: 7 495 cases, 200 deaths

> The World Health Organization suspends hydroxycholoroquine trials

The World Health Organization suspends its trial of hydroxycholoroquine, as coronavirus treatment, after study shows it increases mortality rate.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing.

The study, published in the medical journal Lancet said there were no benefits of treating patients with anti-malarial drug. In some cases, they found that hydroxychloroquine could even raise death risk in Covid19 patients.

> Ivory Coast children head back to school

“Thousands of children in face masks flocked back to school in Ivory Coast on Monday after the country became one of the first in West Africa to restart lessons after a two-month coronavirus shutdown”, according to Reuters.

“With a total of 2,376 cases and dozens of new infections each day, Ivory Coast has yet to contain the virus. But authorities are confident pupils can study together in safety after the introduction of extra hygiene measures” said the news agency.

> The president of South Sudan denies Covid-19 infection rumors

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has denied coronavirus infection and quarantine rumors.

“There has never been any reassignment of duties of the president. The public should not delve into propaganda,” Silva Kiir said.

During his speech, Kiir also indicated that the country has surpassed 600 confirmed cases.

“The disease we are fighting does not differentiate whether this is a Muslim or Christian, Dinka or Acholi, SPLM or SPLM-IO and therefore this is the unforgiving monster in the room,” he added.

> Mauritius records first cases for a month

A month after declaring total recoveries from coronavirus infections, Mauritius registers new cases, involving two individuals recently repatriated from India.

The two patients are “in the same quarantine centre” and are “asymptomatic”, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, spokesman for the national communication committee on Covid-19, told AFP.

These two new virus carriers “justify all the precautionary measures taken by the government. You can imagine if these two people had been allowed to return home without going through quarantine here,” he added.

#IvoryCoast #SouthSudan #Mauritius

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

09-06-2020

There are now 197 313 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with more than 86 338 recoveries and 5 357 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with 56 483 cases and 2 291 deaths. Southern Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (53 749 people infected and 1 108 deaths), while Western Africa is in third place with 42 803 cases and a total of 844 deaths. Eastern Africa (23 150 cases and 671 deaths) and Central Africa (21 128 cases and 443 deaths) remain the two least affected regions.

>Morocco extends the state of health emergency

Moroccan authorities decided to extend the state of health emergency until July 10, the council of Government said after its reunion on Tuesday.  However, the lockdown will be relaxed gradually to avoid a wave of contagions.

The announcement comes as Head of Government Saadeddine El Othmani is expected to speak, Wednesday, at the parliament and give a detailed plan for the post-lockdown period”, according to Yabiladi .

For the record, Morocco declared a state of health emergency on March 20 to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus. The measure was carried alongside a strict lockdown that had been extended twice.

Morocco has reached 8 437 confirmed cases including 210 deaths.

>60% of the mystery deaths in Nigeria’s Kano due to COVID-19 – minister

Almost 60% of the “mysterious” deaths in Nigeria’s northern Kano state were like due to the new coronavirus, the government’s health minister said on Monday.

‘’Nigeria’s task force on COVID-19 sent a team to the northern economic hub in late April to investigate and conduct “verbal autopsies” after local newspaper the Daily Trust reported a spike in deaths to around 150 people in Kano city’’, Reuters said.

‘’Government Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire said the investigation found a total of 979 deaths were recorded in eight municipal local government areas in Kano state at a rate of 43 deaths per day, compared with the typical death rate of roughly 11 deaths per day.”

“With circumstantial evidence as all to go by, investigation suggests that between 50-60% of the deaths may have been triggered by or due to COVID-19, in the face of pre-existing ailments,” Ehanire said.

Nigeria currently has 12,486 confirmed coronavirus cases, 999 of them in Kano, and a total of 354 deaths.

>Eritrea repatriates more than 250 stranded nationals

According to information minister Yemane Meskel , “259 Eritrean nationals, resident in 16 countries, who were stranded with banning of flights returned to their respective places of residence with Charter Flight last Saturday.

“Arrangement was made by Foreign Ministry in conjunction with relevant GOE bodies and Embassies,” he added.

“The country currently has one confirmed case of COVID-19 which case was detected in mass tests in the capital Asmara. The Health Ministry announced the case on June 3. It was the first new case since April 18, it effectively becomes the 40th case”, Africanews said.

“The tests covered 4659 households, with one representative of the household undergoing the actual nasal and throat swab tests. 4658 of all tested individuals have been confirmed negative while one woman was diagnosed positive for COVID-19,” the statement read in part.

#Morocco      #Nigeria     #Eritrea

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

08-06-2020

Africa continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic with new cases recorded each day. The number of people infected across the continent rose to 189 434 as of June 8th, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The Africa CDC in its latest update revealed that the death toll from the pandemic also rose to 5 175.

>President John Magufuli said Tanzania is “coronavirus-free”

“I believe, and I’m certain that many Tanzanians believe, that the corona disease has been eliminated by God,” Mr. Magufuli said in a church in the capital, Dodoma.

“I want to thank Tanzanians of all faiths. We have been praying and fasting for God to save us from the pandemic that has afflicted our country and the world. But God has answered us.”

However, The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed worries over the government’s strategy to contain the virus.

Tanzanian authorities have also been criticized for not giving updates related to coronavirus cases in the country.

>South Africa re-opens schools

South Africa re-opens schools on Monday as part of gradual lifting of restrictions imposed on the country.

“The resumption of the school year had been delayed after teachers’ unions urged school staff to defy an order to return to work last week, saying schools did not have enough masks, gloves and other equipment.”, according to Reuters.

“But the biggest union dropped its objections and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Sunday that ramped-up efforts to equip schools meant 95% of primary and secondary schools could now host classes.”

South Africa remains the most affected country in the continent with 50 879 confirmed cases and 1 080 deaths.

>South Sudan’s vice-president recovers from Covid-19

South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar and his wife, Defense Minister Angelina Teny, have recovered from COVID-19, an official statement said.

“The First Vice President, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, and the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, H.E. Madam Angelina Teny, have both been discharged today (Saturday) after fully recovered from the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” a statement from Machar’s office said on Saturday.

“The two leaders are therefore expected to resume their daily active public office on Monday, 8 June, 2020,” the statement reads in part.

South Sudan has registered 1,317 cases of coronavirus so far.

#Tanzania #South Africa #South Sudan

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

05-06-2020

Africa has reached 171 206 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Africa CDC also revealed in its latest update that the death toll from the pandemic rose from 4 611 to 4 766, in the past 24 hours.

The most affected African countries by the coronavirus include South Africa with 40,792 confirmed cases, Egypt with 29,767 confirmed cases, Nigeria with 11,516 confirmed cases, Algeria with 9,831 confirmed cases, Ghana with 8,885 confirmed cases and Morocco with 8,030 confirmed cases.

>South Africa registers record jump in Covid-19 cases

South Africa has registered a record jump in Covid-19 cases as authorities gradually ease the lockdown.

3,267 new patients tested positive on Thursday, the highest number recorded in a single day since the virus appeared in the country.

According to The Guardian, “Nearly two thirds of the country’s cases are in the Western Cape province, where Cape Town is the biggest city, and health services are under pressure. The region is also a major tourist destination, and local authorities have implemented one of the most rigorous testing regimes in the country”.

“South Africa’s strict lockdown began on 27 March, sharply limiting freedom of movement and slowing an economy already in recession. Restrictions were eased to level 3 on Monday which opened up large parts of the economy and abolished curfews. Alcohol went back on sale under strict rules but tobacco sales remain banned.”

>WHO changes coronavirus mask guidance

The World Health Organization has changed its coronavirus mask guidance on Friday, saying they should be worn in public.

 In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread #COVID19 transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments’’ said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID19 and should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes physical distancing and hand hygiene”, he added.

“The updated guidance also contains new information on the composition of fabric masks. WHO advises that fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different material. We also provide guidance on how to wash and maintain a fabric mask & how to use a mask safely.”

#South Africa

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

04-06-2020

Africa has registered over 163 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 4611 deaths and 70 894 recoveries. 

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, North Africa is the worst-hit area with 48 266 people infected, and 2 053 cumulative deaths.

Southern Africa is the second largest impacted area with 39 971 confirmed cases and 817 deaths. Western Africa, where 37 742 people got infected and 758 have died, ranks third in terms of confirmed cases.

Eastern Africa (19 796 cases and 567 deaths) and Central Africa (17 824 cases and 416 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

>Senegal relaxes night curfew, after two nights of protests against restrictions

Senegalese authorities relaxes night curfew and resumes inter-regional transport across the country on June 4, after two nights of protests against restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19.

From Thursday, the curfew is pushed back to 23H00, instead of 21H00 and ends at 5H00 in the morning, Interior Minister said.

“Meetings in public or private places, restaurants, gyms, casinos will benefit from the same relaxation measures,” he added.

The West African country has recorded 4 021 cases and 45 deaths so far.

>Tunisia to reopen borders on June 27

Tunisian authorities decided to resume its commercial flights and to reopen its sea, land and air borders on June 27, authorities said.

“On June 27th we’re talking about opening borders. That is to say that we can see other companies than the national companies, landing at Tunis-Carthage airport or other airports in the country. That is why we want to make sure that our infrastructure is ready to eventually receive, travelers, visitors, customers, whether through tour operators or individually”, Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Ali Toumi announced.

Tunisia where 1 087 cases and 49 deaths are recorded so far, scheduled full de-confinement for June 14.

>Cameroon accused of not taking the pandemic seriously

Measures taken to contain Covid-19 are triggering an avalanche of criticism in one of Central Africa hotspots.

Cameroon has reached 6 789 cases and 203 deaths. However, the government did not impose strict confinement rules unlike neighboring countries. Bars, restaurants and discotheques remained open and there was no containment period defined despite continued rise in coronavirus cases.

The government has also decided to reopen schools, colleges high schools and universities, even though it expects an epidemic peak in June,

#Senegal #Tunisia #Cameroon

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

03.06.2020

Africa continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic with new cases recorded each day. The number of people infected across the continent rose to 158 318 as of June 3th, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The Africa CDC in its latest update revealed that the death toll from the pandemic also rose to 4 508.

The Northern region is the most impacted area both in terms of confirmed cases ( 47 009) , as well as the number of deaths ( 2 010).

>The World Health Organization resumes hydroxychloroquine trials

The World Health Organization resumes hydroxychloroquine trials for Covid-19 treatment, after stopping research over safety concerns. The decision was based on a study, published on May 22 in the medical journal Lancet that said anti-malarial drug raises the risk of death for Covid-19 patients.

However, the quality of data used in this study is now being questioned by leading medical journals including The Lancet.

‘‘Based on available data, the #COVID19 Solidarity Trial Data Safety & Monitoring Committee recommended there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol. The Executive Group endorsed the continuation of all arms of the Trial, including the use of hydroxychloroquine’’, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference Wednesday at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” he added.

> Senegal postpones reopening schools, amid pandemic fears

Senegal has postponed reopening schools after a cluster of infections was found among teachers, the education ministry said.

The government announced on May 20 that schools would gradually restart on June 2, after several weeks of shutdown. The west African country has so far registered 3,836 COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths.

Senegal was the latest country in the West and Central Africa region to plan resuming schools despite a rising number of infections.

> 812 Nigerian healthcare workers tested positive

Speaking at the daily brief of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Director-General of the NCDC said : “We have had 812 healthcare workers infected, they are not just numbers, 29 of these work for NCDC, they are people I know, they have families, wives and children. About eight of them are in Idu treatment centre, so they are not just number, they are people and mothers, we must remember.”

“The easing of the restriction doesn’t mean the easing of the response, in fact, the response is being strengthened Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu added.

“I want to spend today to reflect on some numbers because crossing that 10,000 mark was quite significant. It is very important for us to remember that these are people, behind the numbers. At NCDC, we engage with these people every day.”

#Senegal    #Nigeria

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

02-06-2020

There are now coronavirus cases in Africa, including 153 325 cases, 4 356 deaths and 64 793 recoveries.

North Africa is the worst-hit region with 45 598 people infected, 1 950 patients who died and 19 685 who recovered, while Central Africa remains the least impacted area (16 572 cases and 403 deaths).

South Africa has the most reported cases (34 357, with 705 deaths). Other most-affected countries are Egypt (26 384 cases), Nigeria (10 578), Algeria (9 513), and Ghana (8 070).

>Nigeria lifts restrictions on churches and mosques

Nigerian authorities have lifted the ban imposed on churches and mosques during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, worship centres will be under strict restrictions, according to Chairman of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force, on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha.

“All places of worship must commit to implementing: – Limit congregational gathering times; regular services only. Total time for Friday prayers & Sunday Services should not exceed 1 hour – Mosques open only for 5 daily prayers & Friday prayers – Churches only for Sunday services”, PTFCOVID-19 National Coordinator said on Twitter.

« Covid-19 is not over in Nigeria, we are in the exponential phase of the disease, we have now moved to 3rd position in Africa. We must therefore continue to take precautionary measures; now is NOT the time to relax”, he added.

>Zimbabwe tightens coronavirus lockdown

“Zimbabwean troops and police on Tuesday tightened the coronavirus lockdown in the capital Harare, blocking many cars and buses from entering the central business district as cases of infections increased”, according to Reuters.

“But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was trying to suppress protests over a worsening economy and to stop MDC supporters from gathering at the courts where the lawyer for its leader was due to appear after being arrested on Monday”.

>Ebola reappears in Congo despite coronavirus lockdown

Congo reported a new Ebola outbreak, despite coronavirus lockdown.

“The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak,” WHO said in a statement. 

Five peoplehave died of Ebola in a recent outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Monday. Nine cases total have been reported, UNICEF said.

“Four additional people who contracted the virus — all contacts of the deceased and including the child of one of the fatal cases — are being treated in an isolation unit at the Wangata Hospital in Mbandaka,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“The deaths occurred between the 18th and 30th of May but they were only confirmed as Ebola-related yesterday.”

Nigeria    Zimbabwe     Democratic Republic of the Congo

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

01-06-2020

Almost 5,560 more people in Africa tested positive for Covid-19 and 165 more patients died in the past 24 hours, according to data by the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in its Monday update.

Africa has now reached a total of 147 099 confirmed cases and 4 228 deaths.

In terms of recoveries, 2 596 new cases were recorded, bringing the number to 61 808.

North Africa has registered a total of 43 900 cases, West Africa 35 100, Southern Africa 34 900, East Africa 17 000 and Central Africa 16 100.

> South Africa eases lockdown to revive economy

South Africa partly lifted its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, allowing numerous businesses mines and factories to reopen.

“After 65 days of a nation-wide lockdown, the country is today starting a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus. Many economic and social activities are restarting, including a phased resumption of schooling.” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

“We are taking a gradual approach, guided by the advice of our scientists and led by the realities on the ground and consultations with stakeholders” he added.

South Africa has so far more than 705 deaths and over 34 000 confirmed cases.

>Rwanda registers first coronavirus death

Rwanda appears to have reversed its plan to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions. This decision was taken after the east African country recorded its first coronavirus death.

“After reassessment, transportation between provinces and the City of Kigali, as well as passenger moto services will remain closed until further notice in the interest of public health. Further Covid-19 measures will be announced by Cabinet on Tuesday 2 June” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.

So far Rwanda has 370 confirmed cases, with 256 recoveries and one death.

>Morocco repatriates its nationals stranded in Algeria

During the weekend, Moroccan authorities repatriated a group of its nationals stranded in Algeria, through three Royal Air Maroc flights to Oujda.

“Moroccans repatriated from Algeria have been sent to a hotel in Saidia to observe a compulsory quarantine. They are expected to undergo coronavirus tests to rule out any infection”, according to Yabiladi.

“For the record, around 300 Moroccans, that had been stranded in Algeria since March, were contacted Friday by the Moroccan embassy in Algiers and informed of their repatriation”.

Morocco has registered 7 833 cases and 205 deaths so far. The north African country praised for its coronavirus early response, remains under lockdown until June 10.

#SouthAfrica      #Rwanda   #Morocco

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

29.05.2020

Africa has now reached 129 565 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3 790 deaths and 53 414 recoveries. Infection rate in Africa remains lower than in other continents due to “strong country leadership”, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Africa said.

“With strong country leadership and implementation of social and public health measures, cases in Africa remain lower than in some other parts of the world,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti told a media briefing with WHO and the World Economic Forum.

”However, we cannot let our guard down, and we cannot be complacent.”

>With no deaths, Namibia eases social and economic Covid-19 restrictions

Namibia, which has recorded no coronavirus deaths, will move onto stage 3 of the

lockdown strategy as it eases restrictions on social and economic activities.

However, the harbour town of Walvis Bay will implement level one, the most restrictive, for seven days after two patients tested positive.

“Midnight on Monday 01st June 2020 all 14 regions, with the exception of the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area, will transit from STAGE 2 to more moderate precautions under STAGE 3, until 29 June 2020, for a period of 28 days or two incubation periods”, the president wrote on Twitter.

“All the new cases have been placed into isolation facilities at /Kharas, Hardap and Erongo regions. The identification, contact tracing, testing and quarantine of exposed individuals, is ongoing”, Hage Geingob said.

>Ethiopia approves supplementary budget to beat virus impact

According to Finance minister Ahmed Shide, “The [ethiopian] economy is being highly impacted due to coronavirus and the government have to assist.”

Therefore, Ethiopian parliament approved a budget worth $1.43 billion to help the economy beat the Covid-19 impact.

By government’s latest the estimates, 30 million people in the country of more than 110 million now need humanitarian assistance, as coronavirus takes its toll on the already slowing down economy.

Ethiopia, where 968 cases and 8 deaths are recorded so far, is also facing the socio-economic costs of flooding and locust.

>Madagascar backtracks on COVID-19 clinical trials for herbal cure

Malgasy president Andry Rajoelina announced this week a clinical trial plan involving injectable extracts of the Artemisia plant, as coronavirus treatment.

“There’s already major clinical trials taking place in the US of an artemisia-based injection remedy. This remedy already exists, we will use it. It’s already been discussed with the WHO,” said Rajoelina, during a visit to Toamasina.

But the president appeared to backtrack on his statement. According to AfricaNews “Michelle Sahondrarimalala, a medical doctor and director from Legal Studies at the presidency, in clarification said the president had been misunderstood”.

#Namibia        #Ethiopia         #Madagascar

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

28-05-2020

Confirmed coronavirus cases have reached 124 482, while deaths rose to 3 696. But Africa has so far remained the least affected continent, with 1,5% of the world’s reported Coronavirus cases and 0,1% of the world’s deaths, according to WHO.

“Many hypotheses have been suggested for this paradox, including sensitivity of the virus to ambient temperature, Africa’s comparatively young population, lower rates of obesity, and familiarity with infectious disease outbreaks, “medical magazine The Lancet wrote.

“Low levels of testing might be artificially lowering apparent infection rates. The situation in the continent is highly heterogeneous and progress varies considerably.”

According to data by Africa CDC, North Africa has the highest toll, followed by West, Southern, Central and East Africa.

> Senegal sticks with chloroquine virus treatment, despite warnings

“Senegal will continue treating Covid-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine”, a senior health official said on Wednesday even after the World Health Organisation suspended clinical trials of the anti-malarial drug.

The decision came after the medical journal The Lancet published a study that said hydroxychloroquine could raise death risk in Covid19 patients.

Abdoulaye Bousso, who heads Senegal’s Centre for Health Emergency Operations, told AFP that Senegal’s hydroxychloroquine treatment programme would nonetheless continue, without offering further details.

> Zimbabwe: Coronavirus cases double in a day

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Zimbabwe doubled to 132 over the past 24 hours, the Secretary of Information said on Wednesday.

“ Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 positive cases have now spiked to 132. The 76 new cases have been recorded in the Beitbridge, Masvingo and Harare. All new cases except one have been registered among returnees from mainly South Africa and Botswana. Only one case is a local transmission” , Nick Mangwana wrote on Twitter.

Over 4,000 Zimbabweans have returned to the country in the past 30 days, the government said.

> Cases of community transmission growing in Africa

“Cases of community transmission of the new coronavirus are growing in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia, and a new strategy for testing is needed to prevent this, the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday”, according to Reuters.

“We are beginning to see sustained community transmission within Ethiopia and many other countries across Africa.

“That means we need to increase our public health measures like distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands,” John Nkengasong told journalists.

He said “countries should modify the way they test their population – instead of focusing on testing people arriving at airports, governments should switch to surveillance testing of those with flu-like symptoms”.

“Nkengasong said almost two million tests had been carried out across the continent and the goal is to carry out 12 million tests.”

#Senegal            #Zimbabwe               #Ethiopia

ACROSS AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES

27-05-2020

As of May 27, Africa has reached 119 391 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 3589 deaths and 48 618 recoveries.

South Africa is the worst-hit country with 24 264 people infected and 524 deaths numbering. Other most-affected countries are Egypt (18,756 cases), Algeria (8,697), Nigeria (8,344) and Morocco (7,601).

>Kenya rolls out testing in one of Africa’s biggest slums

Kenya is offering public testing for Covid-19, in one of its biggest urban slums, where residents say being virus-free increases their chances to get employed.

“Nowadays when you look for work, they first ask to see your results first,” Shadrack Jumba, a resident of Kibera, located in Nairobi’s southwest, told Reuters as health workers took samples from people on Tuesday.

“They ask you to go back and get tested. If your results come back negative, you are fine, but with no test results, it’s a bit difficult to get employed.”

Kenya has so far registered 1,348 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 52 deaths.

>South African Airways (SAA) plans to resume domestic flights

South African Airways plans to resume domestic flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town from mid-June, amid lockdown ease.

“Everyone at SAA is looking forward to welcoming and serving our customers once again. Our operational preparedness is underlined by the significant role the airline has played in global repatriations to and from South Africa, and by our desire to serve the domestic market,”  SAA’s chief commercial, Philip Saunders officer said.

SAA, suspended all commercial passenger flights in late March, when the authorities decided to implement a strict lockdown in South Africa.

>Malawians repatriated from South Africa flee isolation sites

Over 400 Malawians repatriated from South Africa, including individuals tested positive, fled isolation sites in the city of Blantyre.

According to AFP, “more than a dozen were staying in an isolation centre after testing positive for the virus at the border.”

“The rest had been quarantined at a soccer stadium, where they were awaiting further test results.”

“They have all gone home on their own,” district health officer Gift Kawaladzira told AFP.

“By then, 16 were positive already. Others were waiting for lab results,” he added. “If most of them have Covid-19, then we are facing very difficult times ahead.”

#Kenya  #South Africa  #Malawi

ALL ACROSS AFRICA: STATISTICS AND TOP HEADLINES

26.05.2020

There are now 115 616 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with more than 46 630 recoveries and 3 479 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with 35 389 cases and 1 651 deaths. Western Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (29 966 people infected and 632 deaths).  Southern Africa is in third place with 25 285 cases and a total of 504 deaths, while Eastern Africa (12 809 cases and 349 deaths) and Central Africa (12 167 cases and 343 deaths) remain the two least affected regions.

>Madagascar has deployed soldiers, after bodies were found in the streets

Malgasy authorities have announced the deployment of 150 soldiers in the largest second city, Toamasina after several bodies were found in the streets.

“Doctors must carry out thorough examinations to see if these deaths are caused by another illness (…) or if they are really due to severe acute respiratory problems which is the critical form of COVID-19,” Professor Hanta Marie Danielle Vololontiana, spokesperson for the government’s virus taskforce, said in a national broadcast.

Madagascar has registered more than 540 cases and two deaths so far.

>Experts warn about lack of coronavirus test kits in Africa

According to The Guardian, “Public health experts have warned about the risks of low supplies of coronavirus test kits as lockdowns in African countries begin to ease and urban populations become more mobile.”

“Different countries on the continent have adopted a range of testing strategies, but international competition for test kits and a lack of global coordination of resources have meant many African countries are testing with significantly limited reach.”

Kate Dooley, the director for West Africa at the Tony Blair Institute, told The Guardian: “Most governments are currently rationing their use of test kits given limited supplies. We are aware of some cases where African governments who placed orders in early March are still yet to receive the supply, six to eight weeks later.”

>The pandemic threatens livelihood of 164 million workers in Africa

164 million workers in Africa’s informal economy are in danger of losing their livelihoods, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its latest report.

“The informal economy refers to all economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements.”

“The ILO (2018)4 report indicates that informal employment is the main source of employment in Africa, accounting for 85.8 per cent of all employment.”

According to the UN agency, 164 African workers are stuck under complete lockdown measures, while 101 million informal workers are under partial lockdown.

#Madagascar

ALL ACROSS AFRICA :  TOP HEADLINES AND STATISTICS of the day

25.05.2020

Africa has registered over 112 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, 3359 deaths and 44 920 recoveries.

According to data by Africa Center for Disease Control, North Africa is the worst-hit area with 34 429 people infected, and 1 621 cumulative deaths.

Western Africa is the second largest impacted area with 29 433 confirmed cases and 615 deaths. Southern Africa, where 24 231 people got infected and 451 have died, ranks third in terms of confirmed cases.

Eastern Africa (12 291 cases and 332 deaths) and Central Africa (11 906 cases and 340 deaths) are the least affected regions by coronavirus.

Here are the most-affected countries in Africa:

  • South Africa: 22 583 cases, 429 deaths
  • Egypt: 17 265 cases, 764 deaths
  • Algeria: 8 306 cases, 600 deaths
  • Nigeria: 7 839 cases, 226 deaths
  • Morocco: 7 495 cases, 200 deaths

> The World Health Organization suspends hydroxycholoroquine trials

The World Health Organization suspends its trial of hydroxycholoroquine, as coronavirus treatment, after study shows it increases mortality rate.

“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing.

The study, published in the medical journal Lancet said there were no benefits of treating patients with anti-malarial drug. In some cases, they found that hydroxychloroquine could even raise death risk in Covid19 patients.

> Ivory Coast children head back to school

“Thousands of children in face masks flocked back to school in Ivory Coast on Monday after the country became one of the first in West Africa to restart lessons after a two-month coronavirus shutdown”, according to Reuters.

“With a total of 2,376 cases and dozens of new infections each day, Ivory Coast has yet to contain the virus. But authorities are confident pupils can study together in safety after the introduction of extra hygiene measures” said the news agency.

> The president of South Sudan denies Covid-19 infection rumors

The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, has denied coronavirus infection and quarantine rumors.

“There has never been any reassignment of duties of the president. The public should not delve into propaganda,” Silva Kiir said.

During his speech, Kiir also indicated that the country has surpassed 600 confirmed cases.

“The disease we are fighting does not differentiate whether this is a Muslim or Christian, Dinka or Acholi, SPLM or SPLM-IO and therefore this is the unforgiving monster in the room,” he added.

> Mauritius records first cases for a month

A month after declaring total recoveries from coronavirus infections, Mauritius registers new cases, involving two individuals recently repatriated from India.

The two patients are “in the same quarantine centre” and are “asymptomatic”, Dr Zouberr Joomaye, spokesman for the national communication committee on Covid-19, told AFP.

These two new virus carriers “justify all the precautionary measures taken by the government. You can imagine if these two people had been allowed to return home without going through quarantine here,” he added.

#IvoryCoast #SouthSudan #Mauritius

ALL AROUND AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES OF THE DAY

22.05.2020

Africa reached a grim milestone Friday, surpassing 100 000 coronavirus confirmed cases, including more than 3 100 deaths and over 39 500 recoveries.

North Africa remains the largest hot spot in terms of Covid-19 infection with 31 321 cases and 1523 deaths, according to Africa Center for Disease Control.

Western Africa has the second highest rate of registered cases (27 303 people infected and 582 deaths).  Southern Africa is in third place with 20 683 cases and a total of 389 deaths.

Eastern Africa (10 486 cases and 285 deaths) and Central Africa (9 353 cases and 304 deaths) have the lowest coronavirus infection rates.

 

Here are the most-affected countries in Africa:

  • South Africa: 19 137 cases, 369 deaths, 8950 recoveries.

  • Egypt: 15 003 cases, 696 deaths, 4217 recoveries.

  • Algeria: 7 728 cases, 575 deaths, 4062 recoveries.

  • Morocco: 7300 cases, 197 deaths, 4347 recoveries.

  • Nigeria: 7016 cases, 211 deaths, 1907 recoveries

 > Nigeria to begin chloroquine trials :

Lagos state, one of Nigeria’s worst-hit areas by coronavirus, has approved clinical trial of anti-malaria drug to measure its efficacy against the pandemic.

Chloroquine has not yet been shown to be safe in the treatment of Covid-19 and the World Health Organization has warned individuals from self-medication. The Chairman of the PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said at the PTF COVID-19 daily press briefing, “we wish to reiterate that this drug has not being certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities.’’

“Self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties. We therefore strongly warn against self-medication,” he added.

In spite of all warnings, Nigerians authorities are worried that people may be purchasing large quantities of hydroxychloroquine.

>Ten ministers in South Soudan tested positive

Ten ministers in South Sudan tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Information Minister Michael Makuei who spoke to BBC. All former members of the high-level task force on coronavirus – apart from the health minister – are now confirmed to have contracted Covid-19

However, Makuei has denied rumors that President Salva Kiir – had also tested positive.

> Government supports vulnerable populations in South Africa

“The South African government continues to support vulnerable populations with food assistance as the continent’s most impacted nation continues to ease lockdown measures”, according to africanews.

“On Wednesday, large crowds lined up Laudium Township, near Pretoria, for food as the financial impact of the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc”.

“Families received food parcels and maize meal, as well as products to protect themselves from the virus such as masks, soap and disinfectant.”

#Nigeria #SouthSoudan #SouthAfrica

ALL AROUND AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES OF THE DAY

21.05.2020

Africa has recorded 96 829 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent including 38 334 recoveries and 3 031 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa has by far the largest number of cases with 30 201 infected patients and 1498 deaths. Western Africa has the second highest number of infections, with 26 181 cases and 555 deaths. Southern Africa is in third place with 20 608 cases and a total of 389 deaths.

Eastern Africa (10 486 cases and 285 deaths) and Central Africa (9 353 cases and 304 deaths) are the least affected regions in the continent.

 > 2-day old baby dies from Covid-19 in South Africa

 “ Sadly we have recorded the first neonatal mortality related to COVID-19- this was a 2 day old baby that was born prematurely and therefore had lung difficulties which required ventilation support immediately after birth”, the government said Thursday.

According to the south African department of Health, “The mother had tested positive for COVID-19 and the child subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 as well. It is important to appreciate the complexities of the underlying condition of prematurity.”

South Africa now has over 18 000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 339 cumulative deaths.

 > Botswana ends 48-day lockdown

Botswana 7-week lockdown ended at midnight on Wednesday, allowing businesses to open.  “All lockdown restrictions will be lifted effective [from] midnight, with only those moving across the designated zones requiring permits to travel,” Covid-19 Task Force Co-ordinator Dr Kereng Masupu said.

“Depending on the coronavirus disease pattern, a return to lockdown will remain an option”, Masupu added.

Botswana has recorded 25 cases of Covid-19 and one death so far. “But the economy has been severely impacted by the outbreak with real GDP estimated to contract by 13% in 2020 while the budget deficit is now seen more than doubling” according to Reuters.

 > Human rights chiefs call for urgent measures in Africa

Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Solomon Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), warned that tens of millions of people in Africa could become destitute as a result of coronavirus. 

“We cannot afford to stand idly by and hope this most viral and deadly of diseases bypasses Africa, which is home to many of the world’s poorest countries who are simply not in position to handle such a pandemic,” Bachelet and Dersso said. 

“The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions Africans are at stake not just due to COVID-19, but mostly due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 response measures adopted both continentally and globally.

“This health crisis, along with the debt burden of the continent and its already fragile economies, threaten to further drain reserves, cripple nascent job creation schemes and annihilate gains made in social development and efforts to industrialize,” they said.

ALL AROUND AFRICA: TOP HEADLINES OF THE DAY

20.05.2020

There are now 92 348 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with 36 117 recoveries and 2 912 deaths, according to Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa remains the largest coronavirus hot spot with 29 152 cases, 1 468 deaths and 12 392 recoveries.

On the other hand, central Africa appears the least affected, with 8 665 people tested positive, 2 522 recoveries and 294 patients who died.

> Burundi: A crucial election amid Covid-19 spread fears

Burundi holds presidential election in spite of Covid-19, of which the east African country has recorded 42 cases including one death so far. The five million voters expected to participate in the general elections will be choosing their president, members of parliament and communal council members.

The vote, where President Pierre Nkurunziza is being forced to step down, is one of the most crucial transfers of power since 1962. Masks and social distancing were observed as voting began after 6 a.m. but Burundi’s government has been criticized for not appearing to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously.

> UN Secretary General praises Africa for responding swiftly to the Covid-19 pandemic

António Guterres has praised the continent’s “swift” response to the coronavirus outbreak. “Most [African countries] have moved rapidly to deepen regional coordination, deploy health workers, and enforce quarantines, lockdowns and border closures”, UN Secretary General said in a statement. 

“They are also drawing on the experience of HIV/Aid and Ebola to debunk rumors and overcome mistrust of government, security forces and health workers.”, he added. Guterres also urged “international action to strengthen Africa’s health systems, maintain food supplies, avoid a financial crisis”.

However, he warned that Covid-19 could push millions of Africans into extreme poverty.

> Cameroon’s President has addressed the nation for the first time since Covid-19 outbreak

Cameroon’s 87-year-old President Paul Biya has addressed the nation breaking more than 60 days of silence, as the country dealt with the Covid-19 outbreak and ongoing clashes between the military and Anglophone separatists.

During his broadcast on state TV, Biya urged Cameroonians to remain calm and join the fight against the disease. “The number of people infected rises day after day, bringing proof that the fight against the pandemic is complex and difficult”, he said.

The central African country has recorded 3,529 coronavirus cases and 140 deaths.

> 40 000 south Africans could die with Covid-19

According to scientists, at least 40,000 South Africans could die with coronavirus by the end of the year. Mathematical modelling released by health experts advising the government also predict that the country will reach the 30 000 confirmed cases by the end of the month.

South Africa has recorded 17 200 cases including 312 cumulative deaths linked to the disease so far.

ALL AROUND AFRICA: top headlines of the day

19.05.2020

There are now 88 172 COVID-19 confirmed cases across the continent with more than 33,863 recoveries and 2834 deaths, according to the latest data by Africa Center for Disease Control.

North Africa is currently the largest coronavirus hotspot with 21.100 cases and 1445 deaths. On the other hand, central Africa appears the least affected, with 8 665 people tested positive and 294 patients who died.

 

> Algeria: Authorities have tightened lockdown and made the wearing of masks compulsory

A statement from the Presidency published on Monday evening made covering the face with a mask mandatory, warning “fines would be imposed on citizens not wearing them.” In order to contain the spread of COVID-19, restrictions measures have also been adopted.

“The lockdown measure will be tightened, as it will be applied from 1 p.m. to 7 a.m., during the two days of the Eid”, prime minister said.

> Nigeria: Kano Governor extends the lockdown

Kano Governor, Umar Ganduje, prolonged by another two weeks the lockdown imposed by the federal government. However, Ganduje “accepted and approved recommendations by a selection of 30 Islamic scholars in Kano for the Government to allow Friday Prayers to hold, as well as Eid Prayers”, said the governor’s special adviser.

The northern Nigerian city of Kano has the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country after Lagos.

> South Sudan: First vice president and his wife tested positive for COVID-19

South Sudan’s first vice president and former rebel leader Riek Machar and his wife Angelina Teny have tested positive for coronavirus.

A number of Machar’s office staff and bodyguards” have also been infected, according to press secretary James Gatdet Dak. The first Vice President “has issued a public statement declaring that he is found positive, and will self-quarantine in his residence for the next 14 days,” Dak said.

> Burundi : Voting amid pandemic fears

Million of voters in Burundi are heading to the polls to elect a new president amid pandemic fears. Seven candidates are seeking to succeed President Pierre Nkurunziza, who he is being forced to step down by the opposition, after 15 years in power.

The east African country of 11 million people has reported 42 cases of Covid-19 so far.

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