Coronavirus Africa news summary: cases and deaths - 23 April

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Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Thu 23 April

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 02:30 WAT Friday 24 April (03:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,699,338 cases have been detected worldwide, with 188,437 deaths and 737,735 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 981 cases / 31 deaths

South Africa: 3,953 cases / 75 deaths

Ghana: 1,154 cases / 9 deaths

Kenya: 320 cases / 14 deaths

For all the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic in Africa on Friday 24 April, you can go to our daily live blog here. 

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In pictures (Kenya): Residents watch as artists from the Mathare Roots's youth group paint an advocacy graffiti against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Mathare Valley slum, in Nairobi, Kenya April 19, 2020. Picture taken April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Nigeria reports 108 new cases

Nigeria has recorded 108 new cases of coronavirus: 78 of those new cases cases are in Lagos, 14 in the FCT, five in Ogun State, four in Gombe State, three in Borno State, two in Akwa Ibom State and one each in Kwara and Plateau State. As of 23.30 on April 23, Nigeria had 981 cases with 31 deaths and 197 recovered. 

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Algeria eases coronavirus lockdown for Ramadan

Algeria will ease confinement measures from the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on Friday by shortening a night curfew and lifting a full lockdown for a province near the capital Algiers, the prime minister's office said on Thursday. It said the full lockdown in the Blida province south of Algiers will be replaced with a curfew from 2 p.m. to 7 a.m. while a 3 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew in nine provinces, including Algiers, will be shortened to run from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The government made no changes to the confinement measures in the remaining provinces where a 7 p.m.-7 a.m. curfew has been imposed for weeks. 'Th government reiterates its call for citizens to remain vigilant,' the prime minister's office said in a statement. 'Changing or keeping the confinement measures will depend on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.' Algeria has so far reported 3,007 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 407 deaths and 1,355 recoveries. (report and photo by Reuters)

8,000 Ghana police officers told to self-quarantine

The Ghanaian Police Administration has ordered 8,000 officers to self-quarantine after enforcing the partial lockdown imposed on some areas of the country.

“The prime object of the Police is for the Police officers to be well before we can carry out our duties. So for Accra, Kumasi, Tema, and Kumasi, we are looking at not less than 8,000 officers to self-quarantine,” Director of Public Affairs and Ghana Police Service, Supt. Sheila Kessie Abayie-Buckman, told Accra-based Citi FM.

“The Police Hospital has begun taking their samples but the samples are not tested by them but they have a strategy to take their samples. The Police Hospital has its headquarters in Accra but it still has a lot of regional clinics all across the country.”

Moghalu warns of "big risk" of easing restrictions in Nigeria

Former Nigerian presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, has criticised calls for an easing of nationwide lockdown restricitions as the number of coronavirus cases in the country contiues to rise. 

“COVID-19: The conflict between staying at home and “Re-opening” is a difficult but ultimately false choice. Re-opening now is a big risk," he tweeted. 

“As I said to my son, if we were in a conventional war and bombs were dropping, would you pretend all is normal? Or is it because this is a virus?"

Kenya’s coronavirus cases jumped to 320 on Thursday after the Ministry of Health announced 17 new cases. Nairobi remains the county with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country...

 

There are more than 200 million people in Nigeria, and with only 873 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, questions are being asked about the country's readiness to fight COVID-19...

South Africa to ease lockdown restrictions from next month

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that his government will ease restrictions once the nationwide lockdown comes to an end on April 30. 

However, the country's borders will remain closed and no travel will be allowed between provinces except for transportation of goods and for exceptional circumstances such as funerals. Bars, entertainment venues and events will also remain shut. 

South Africa has so far reporred  3,653 cases of coronavirus and 75 related deaths. 

Malaria deaths could double in Africa

The WHO warns that the number of deaths from malaria could double to 769,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa, due to the fact that efforts to tackle the disease will be disrupted by the coronavirus crisis...

Ghana has enough food 

Ghana's Minister for Agriculture Owusu Afriyie-Akoto has assured that the country has enough food provision in store and there is no danger of food shortages. Afriyie-Akoto did not state how long Ghana's current food reserves could last for but said production was in excess of consumption, and excess stock was even being exported to neighbouring countries.

“We have plenty of food. The impact of planting programmes has been so successful that we now have a problem of how to manage the surplus we are producing. Farmers are providing surpluses which are increasing every year - that has been the case during the last three years,” Afriyie-Akoto explained.

 

Ghana

Ghana has enough food 

Ghana's Minister for Agriculture Owusu Afriyie-Akoto has assured that the country has enough food provision in store and there is no danger of food shortages. Afriyie-Akoto did not state how long Ghana's current food reserves could last for but said production was in excess of consumption, and excess stock was even being exported to neighbouring countries.

“We have plenty of food. The impact of planting programmes has been so successful that we now have a problem of how to manage the surplus we are producing. Farmers are providing surpluses which are increasing every year - that has been the case during the last three years,” Afriyie-Akoto explained.

Ramadan in South Africa

Ramadan Mubarak

Five Kenyan truck drivers test positive for coronavirus in Uganda

Five Kenyan drivers have tested positive for coronavirus in Uganda after undergoing mandatory testing at the Busia and Malaba border, Nairobi News reports. Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi has urged lorry drivers to regularly wash their hands and if possible, use sanitizer to avoid the spread of coronavirus through direct contact.

She also explained why respecting quarantine measures can save lives: “It takes 5-6 days for the coronavirus to start showing effects and 14 days for one to get infected. That is why we need to ensure that those we consider to be at risk of infection are placed under quarantine". 

Jump in deaths in Kano City, Nigeria

Nigeria is investigating a reported sharp rise in deaths in the northern commercial city of Kano to determine if it is related to the coronavirus outbreak, health officials said on Thursday.

Nigeria has 873 confirmed coronavirus cases, 73 of them in Kano state. The national death toll is 28.
On Tuesday the local Daily Trust newspaper reported what it called the "mysterious" recent deaths of around 150 people in Kano city.

Sani Aliyu, who heads the country's COVID-19 task force, said a government team was collating "verbal autopsies" to determine whether the deaths were linked to the epidemic.

"We don't have a true baseline when it comes to the number of deaths. It's something we need to investigate quite closely," he said during a briefing with the World Health Organization. "It may not necessarily be COVID." 

A week-long lockdown in Kano state, which was extended this week, had limited citizens' access to clinics for other ailments, while the state's coronavirus testing lab was closed after staff became infected with the virus, Aliyu said.

He said the government was working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to disinfect the lab and reopen it.

Durban

South African company reported for price gouging - face mask price hiked by 261%

South African pharmaceutical group Dis-Chem has been referred to the Competition Tribunal after an investigation following complaints from consumers about its pricing of dust and surgical masks, the commission said on Thursday.

"This referral (to the Competition Tribunal) follows an investigation by the Commission which found that Dis-Chem has charged excessive prices on essential hygienic goods to the detriment of customers and consumers," the commission said in a statement.

The competition body said the average price increases between February and March on the products ranged between 43% and 261%.

Earlier this week, Spain's Ministry of Health set a maximum price of 0.96 euros for one disposable face mask by law, while the price of a 150ml bottle of sanitiser cannot be sold for a price that exceeds 3.15 euros. The measure was taken to counteract price gouging on protective material and supplies which rose during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wuhan scientist hits out at "horrible" conspiracy theories

The director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory has hit out at claims the coronavirus was created in a lab there, saying: "There is no way this virus came from us."

Extra protection arrives in Lagos 

 

First Lady Aisha Buhari thanks those who reponded to 'Get Involved' Future Assured initiative 

 

 

First mobile laboratories delivered to Uganda and Rwanda

Two mobile laboratories for fast and modern molecular biological diagnosis of infectious diseases were deployed in Uganda and Rwanda today to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The first batch of Covid-19 diagnostic tests and PPE have also been sent to all East African Community (EAC) countries, German public investment bank KfW announced today. 

A further seven mobile laboratories will be delivered to the remaining East African Community countries in the coming days as part of the pandemic prevention programme. KfW confirmed.

 

Adebayor's unpopular stance

“Some think that it was me who introduced the virus to Lomé. It is very unfortunate, but this country is like that” 

Interstate movement banned in Nigeria

The governors of Nigeria's 36 states have agreed to ban interstate movement for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, a joint statement said, via Reuters. Lagos and Ogun states, as well as Nigerian capital Abuja, are already under federally imposed lockdowns, while various states have instigated their own containment measures.

'Governors unanimously agreed to the implementation of an interstate lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state,' the Nigeria Governors' Forum said in a statement issued late on Wednesday. Only essential services will be permitted, the statement added without providing further detail.

Only President Muhammadu Buhari can impose a total cessation of interstate movement. However, individual states can block entry points. 

Welcome to the mask-erade

The official stance in Ghana will require masks to be worn.

Woakes reminder

We've heard of numerous reports of people being unwell but never get close to being tested. Cricketer Chris Woakes believes he could be one that had Covid-19.

Pets with Covid-19

After the initial story of Nadia that we brought you, cases have now been found at home.

South Africa's wastepickers wasted

They perform one of South Africa's most important services, collecting recyclables that would otherwise swell the country's rubbish dumps and burden municipal trash collection, but the coronavirus lockdown has left thousands of wastepickers jobless.

The shutdown ordered by President Cyril Ramaphosa that began on March 20, and was extended until April 30, is among the toughest in the world. It bans anyone apart from essential workers leaving their homes except to buy food or medicine.

Yet although municipal rubbish collectors were classified as essential workers, authorities excluded itinerant wastepickers who ply the streets of Johannesburg pulling heavy carts laden with more than three quarters of the city's total recycling.

IMF's $363 million Congo aid

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Executive Board has approved a disbursement of $363 million under its Rapid Credit Facility to help Democratic Republic of Congo confront the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fund said, via Reuters.

"Congo is experiencing a severe shock as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic," the IMF wrote in a statement late on Wednesday. "The short-term economic outlook has deteriorated quickly due to the fall of minerals' prices and the impact of needed containment and mitigation measures."

Global flower cuts

Arkadiusz Langer reminds us of the influence on the African market of the flower trade, and how the ripples spread across the globe.

One size doesn't necessarily fit all

"If Uganda was 100 people, just two would be over 65. Over two-thirds would be under 25. Are costly lockdowns always the best option?"

This is the opening question put to readers in an article that considers varying the actions across the continent. Full story.

South Africa impressing WHO

Listen to Dr MIchael Ryan discussing the measure taken in the very south of the continent.

Covid-19 blog Africa - welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog covering all aspects of the current coronavirus pandemic that we find ourselves in.

This feed is dedicated to our audience in Africa so the focus will be there as well as on related news coming out from further afield.

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