Africa Covid-19 update: 20:00 WAT on Thursday 6 August (21:00 CEST)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 18,897,857 cases have been detected worldwide, with 710,136 deaths and 11,402,427 people recovered.
South Africa: 529,877 cases / 9,298 deaths
Egypt: 94,875 cases / 4,930
Nigeria: 44,890 cases / 927 deaths
SA to launch corruption probe
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a committtes to investigate alleged corruption linked to the nation’s coronavirus response.
“We need to deal with corruption,” Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said in an online briefing. “The government is committed to action being taken by all the law enforcement agencies.”
Nigeria to reopen for international air travel in weeks
Nigeria will reopen for international air travel in a matter of weeks, the aviation minister said on Thursday, without giving a specific date for the resumption after months of closure due to the global coronavirus pandemic. “It will be in weeks rather than in months,” Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika told a regular briefing in the capital Abuja on coronavirus.
Nigeria began to close its airports in March, a month after Africa’s most populous country confirmed its first coronavirus case. Domestic air travel restarted last month. The country has 44,890 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 900 deaths, figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control show. (reporting by Reuters).
In pictures: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24, 2020. (Jerome Delay/Pool via REUTERS.)
Togo coronavirus cases surpass 1,000
Togo reported 13 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total tally to 1,001. The West African nation has far recorded 21 deaths since the pandemic began, with 690 people having recovered.
Djibril Mohaman, the National Coordinator for COVID-19 response, said Togo is experiencing new outbreaks in the central and northern regions and warned of an increase in cases over the coming fortnight.
“Over the coming two weeks, there will be an increase in confirmed cases after the monitoring of the contacts,’’ he said.
A volunteer wears a smiling mask as she waits to sanitize people’s hands during the weekly feeding scheme at the Heritage Baptist Church amid the coronavirus emergency lockdown in Melville, Johannesburg. Volunteers from the Viva Foundation have been helping feed around 500 people per week at the church. Food insecurity remains a pressing issue in South Africa amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK
80% of Africa’s coronavirus testing done by 10 countries, says CDC chief
Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, the continent’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent.
Covid-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported.
Some governments across the continent are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out widespread testing, while others are reluctant to share data or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny.
South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius have each conducted more than 200,000 tests, John Nkengasong, head of the Africa CDC, told a virtual news conference.
So far nearly 9 million tests have been conducted across the continent, up 9.4% from last week’s tally.
SA funeral parlours overwhelmed amid pandemic
Funeral parlours in South Africa have been forced to take measures to deal with the high number of bodies they are receiving amid the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports, with one undertaker telling the agency that he has had to use a shipping container that would normally hold chilled goods.
Monageng Legae revealed to Reuters that he oversaw 85 and 75 funerals in June and July, respectively, when that number is usually around 30.
Ghana’s Ministry of Aviation denies borders opening next week
The Ghanaian Ministry of Aviation has refuted rumours claiming that the country’s borders, which were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will re-open next week.
Feeding scheme in Johannesburg amid pandemic
People wait in line during the weekly feeding scheme at the Heritage Baptist Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday – the 125th day of a coronavirus emergency lockdown in the country.
Volunteers from the Viva Foundation have been helping feed around 500 people per week at the church. Food insecurity remains a pressing issue in South Africa amid the ongoing pandemic and a recent spike in cases.
(Photo: EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK)
Africa CDC head expresses Tanzania concern
The head of the Africa Centre for Disease Control, Dr John Nkengasong, has told the BBC that there is not enough data coming out of Tanzania to know how the coronavirus is being dealt with in the country.
“We continue to hope and plead that Tanzania could come forth and report the situation as it is so that we can work collaboratively to stem this virus out of the continent,” Nkengasong said.
“We continue to reach out [to Tanzania] but we are not having the response that we expect,” he said.
According to Johns Hopkins University, which bases its figures on officially reported data, there have been 509 confirmed coronavirus cases in Tanzania, with 21 deaths.
457 new coronavirus cases in Nigeria
Another 30 days of emergency in Mozambique
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has declared another 30 days of emergency in a bid to tackle the coronavirus, and has outlined a plan for the phased easing of restrictions in the country.
“We believe that our next steps are based on two fundamental lines of action,” Nyusi told a televised address on Wednesday, per CGTN. “The first is the maintenance of COVID-19 prevention and control measures; the second is to guarantee that social and economic life follows its normal course.”
Mozambique’s government has planned a reopening process in three stages, with the first coming into effect on 18 August. Phases two and three are to be introduced in September and in October, respectively.
There have been 2,079 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, leading to 15 deaths.
Gambia imposes curfew as cases rise 60% in a week
Gambia, mainland Africa’s smallest country, imposed a three-week curfew on Wednesday after coronavirus cases surged over 60% in the last seven days to nearly 800.
Authorities attributed the rise to people relaxing their guard on protective measures that had so far kept Gambia’s case total the lowest in Africa. Testing has also increased in the country, where the number of deaths is 16.
A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will go into effect on Thursday, public gatherings will be banned and markets will have to close by 2 p.m., government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh told the national broadcaster.
Coronavirus live Africa updates: good morning
Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 07:30 WAT had registered over 18.8 million cases and nearly 708,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In Africa, according to the latest update by the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been over 978,000 cases and 21,000 deaths.