Coronavirus Africa: Live Update 3
Updated: Apr 17
"It is likely that by the end of today, Africa's 4000th coronavirus case will be confirmed. It will most likely happen in South Africa, where about a quarter of African cases can be found."
We published the above 2 days ago. While it would be difficult to determine if Africa's 4000th confirmed Coronavirus was logged in South Africa, we do know that there are approximately 4900 confirmed cases in Africa today.
Government responses to this rapid escalation in cases across the continent have been quick, and in many cases, violent.
Here are a few of the major coronavirus stories happening across Africa this week.
Libyan authorities have announced the release of more than 450 prisoners as part of measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus that has infected at least eight people in the country.
A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded a COVID-19 technical support mission to Egypt on 25 March 2020. The objectives of the mission were to understand the current situation; review ongoing response activities; provide on-site technical support as needed; and identify strengths and gaps to guide response priorities.
Corona-free: South Sudan
The Ministry of Local Government will begin door to door provision of foodstuffs and groceries to vulnerable homes at village and sector level. Rwanda has so far reported 60 Coronavirus infections, majority if who flew in from Dubai, UAE.
Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on March 15 announced that he had secured a continent wide support coronavirus support from Chinese businessman Jack Ma. The Ali Baba founder confirmed the news 24-hours later following which the materials were flown to Ethiopia on March 22. Ethiopia had agreed to use its national airline, Ethiopian, to undertake deployment to all member states.
Corona-free: Burundi, Comoros
The Democratic Republic of Congo has declared a shutdown in the capital, Kinshasa due to the outbreak of the corona-virus in the country. Governor Gentiny Ngobila said all residents excluding essential workers such as medical staff, would have to stay home for four days starting Saturday. Resident would then be allowed to stock up food in the following two days.
In Uganda, for the first time since 2013, more than three people can legally meet without needing to inform the police. Last week, parts of the Public Order Management Act, a law used to gag political opponents, was declared unconstitutional. But most Ugandans are staying away from crowds and keeping at home to control the spread of Coronavirus.
Zimbabweans braced on Sunday for a three-week lock-down to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has killed one person so far and infected six others, and for many the lockdown means tough times ahead.
With people in these regions living in confined spaces, the disease has the potential to spread like wildfire among our poorest citizens. The chances of limiting an outbreak are slim, as many do not have the luxury of social distancing given their situation.
Corona-free: Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who made history as Africa's first elected female president, led Liberia for 12 years including during the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak that killed nearly 5,000 people in her country. The BBC asked the Nobel Peace Laureate for her reflections on the current coronavirus crisis.
On March 18th, Burkina Faso suffered the first confirmed Covid-19 fatality in all of sub-Saharan Africa. The victim was Rose-Marie Compaoré, the first vice president of the Sahelian nation’s parliament. Tiny, impoverished, and conflict-scarred, Burkina Faso is now West Africa’s worst-affected country, with 146 confirmed cases, including four government ministers.
Corona-free: Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe