Coronavirus Africa news summary: cases and deaths - 24 April

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Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 24 April

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 01:30 WAT Saturday 25 April (02:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,790,986 cases have been detected worldwide, with 195,920 deaths and 781,382 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 981 cases / 31 deaths
South Africa: 4,220 cases / 79 deaths
Ghana: 1,279 cases / 10 deaths
Kenya: 336 cases / 14 deaths

AS

We'll take a brief pause from our live Africa Covid-19 live feed but will be back with you shortly with the latest developments regarding the coronavirus pandemic and it's impact on the continent. 

In the meantime, here's how the front cover of Saturday's AS will look with PSG striker Kylian Mbappé the cover star.

Can you catch Covid-19 from food & packaging?

There is a low risk of being infected by handling food or packaging, but extreme caution is nevertheless recommended when it comes to hygiene.

Ghana

African nations to get ventilators from Ma foundation and stress need for WHO help

African nations that lack ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients will receive some from the Jack Ma Foundation, an African Union official said on Thursday, as Nigeria stressed Africa's dependence on a properly-funded World Health Organization (WHO)to help it fight the pandemic.

Africa's 54 countries have so far reported fewer than 26,000 confirmed cases of the disease, just a fraction of the more than two million cases reported globally. But the WHO has warned that the continent could see as many as 10 million cases in three to six months, according to its tentative model.

With the pandemic driving up demand for protective equipment and medical supplies across the world, the African Union said it was working to set up its own joint procurement system.

Meanwhile, the Jack Ma Foundation has donated 300 ventilators, which will arrive in coming weeks. John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said states without any ventilators would be prioritized as they are distributed.

Ogun to encore face mask use as of 1 May

Gov. Dapo Abiodun, who made this known while addressing journalists on Friday in Iperu, said that that face mask violators risked being arrested or even isolated for 14 days.

Lagos testing 

China's Covid-19 vaccine trial moves to phase 2

China's inactivated Covid-19 vaccine entered the second phase of clinical trial on Friday, Xinhua reports. An inactivated vaccine, sometimes called a killed vaccine, uses virus particles that have deteriorated and lost their ability to cause disease.

The vaccine is being developed by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Clinical trials began on 12 April. 

In a statement, Sinopharm said that 96 patients, in three age groups, were given the vaccine on Thursday, April 23. The vaccine has not shown any side effects so far and volunteers taking part are still under observation. The second phase of clinical trial will focus on the vaccination procedure. The trial process is expected to last around a year.

China has approved three Covid-19 vaccine candidates for clinical trials - including an adenovirus vector vaccine prototype which has entered the second phase of clinical trial.

Experts recommend ignoring Trump’s suggestion to drink disinfectant products

Lysol and Dettol manufacturers are urging customers not to consume its cleaning products after President Trump suggested during a daily briefing.

Head of LaLiga, Javier Tebas on competition restarting 

When the time comes for LaLiga to restart, no player can refuse to play'

99-year-old Captain Tom tops UK music charts

The World War Two veteran on Friday was recognised as the oldest person to reach number one in Britain's main music charts through his appearance with singer Michael Ball on a cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" - another fundraiser for the health service.

Guinness World Records said that title had been held by Welsh star Tom Jones, who was 68 when he sang on the charity single "Barry Islands in the Stream" in 2009.

Moore, who turns 100 on April 30, said he felt honoured to receive the awards.

"My previous charity walk has raised more money than I could have possibly imagined and I am so thankful to those who have donated money and bought the single so we could achieve these records together and raise money for our incredible NHS during these difficult times."

Is this a fever? Or is it just allergies?

It seems so long ago when everyone was listening to this parody...

Sarcastic Trump

In response to the much-discussed topic, President Donald Trump has said on Friday that he was being sarcastic when he raised the possibility of using disinfectant inside people's bodies to fight coronavirus.

Based on his team's live reaction, Trump is rather good at hiding it. 

#dontdrinkbleach

With numerous hashtags at the top of US Twitter trends, and manufacturers of disinfectants advising customers not to inject themselves with their products, The Guardian's Marina Hyde wasn't slow in getting involved. Worth a read.

Apple and Google tracing update

Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google on Friday updated technical details of the coronavirus contact tracing system they plan to release next month, saying new features would strengthen privacy protections and give health authorities more detailed data.

The system announced on April 10 will use Bluetooth technology to let authorities build apps to alert people who have been in proximity with those who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The technology does not employ GPS location data and stores most sensitive data in a decentralized way on users' phones.

The approach opened a rift with European governments planning systems that would store data on centralized servers. Without the Apple-Google technology, apps built by those governments will face limitations such as needing a phone's screen to be unlocked to work properly. Health and privacy researchers also cited privacy concerns that the companies addressed on Friday by making it harder to use system-generated data to track people. (Reuters)

Live discussion

Follow all the latest developments over on Instagram at 20:00.

Nigeria, South Africa and Angola pain

“Due to deteriorating fiscal positions and increased public debt, governments in the region do not have much room for wiggle in deploying fiscal policy to address the COVID-19 crisis.”

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 16:00 WAT Friday 24 April (17:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,735,117 cases have been detected worldwide, with 192,019 deaths and 752,148 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 981 cases / 31 deaths
South Africa: 3,953 cases / 75 deaths
Ghana: 1,279 cases / 10 deaths
Kenya: 336 cases / 14 deaths

What did you just say?!?

Meanwhile in America... US president Donald Trump suggested that disinfectant injections and UV light could be used as coronavirus cures. His senior medical advisor Dr Deborah Birx's face gave an expert's response.

Response to WHO's ACT

Global leaders joined the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday to launch an initiative to accelerate work on drugs, tests and vaccines against Covid-19 and to share them around the world. French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were among leaders taking part in a videoconference to announce the plan, but the United States was not participating.

Following is reaction from around the world to the WHO's initiative, via Reuters:

WHO DIRECTOR GENERAL TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS

'The world needs these tools and needs them fast. 'We are facing a common threat which we can only defeat with a common approach.'

'This is a first step only, but more will be needed in the future.'

SPOKESMAN FOR THE U.S. MISSION IN GENEVA

'There will be no U.S. official participation. 'We look forward to learning more about this initiative in support of international cooperation to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 as soon as possible.'

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

'It would be inexplicable and inexcusable to say that this vaccine would only be accessible in the country it was invented in or where Big Pharma have invested. 'From the moment we win this battle, we must make this vaccine accessible to all populations as soon as possible and everywhere. 'We will continue now to mobilise all G7 and G20 countries so they get behind this initiative. And I hope we'll manage to reconcile around this joint initiative both China and the US because this is about saying: the fight against Covid-19 is a common human good and there should be no division in order to win this battle.'

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MUHYIDDIN YASSIN

'The world needs to come together to coordinate our efforts and expedite the development of effective tools to stop the spread of this disease. 'The role of the United Nations remains one of our strongest modalities to curb this pandemic in a manner that can ensure that the arsenals in this war that we are fighting can reach everyone, everywhere, in the shortest time possible. 'Malaysia is fully committed to be part of this... and to take part in the manufacturing of some of these tools and vaccines as they become available.'

Covid-19 Tools Accelerator

Hear what the WHO have to say as they launch the new tool that is seen as a 'landmark collaboration' to help speed up the development, production and fair distribution of vaccines among other aspects.

WBH Q&A on African solutions

The World Bank’s Global Director for Health, Nutrition, and Population, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, has been at the forefront of the World Bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here he answers questions about Africa’s capacity for dealing with the pandemic, what the World Bank is doing to support countries, and offers advice to leaders.

WHO issues malaria warning

The World Health Organization has said that there could be a huge number of deaths caused by malaria this year as African governments redeploy resources to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

Africa coronavirus debt plan

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has proposed cancelling $1 trillion of debt for developing countries to help them recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nigeria defends testing roll-out

According to a report by Bloomberg, Nigeria has so far tested only 10,000 people out of a population of more than 200 million

Algeria eases lockdown restrictions 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 pm to 7 am while a 3 pm-7 am curfew in nine provinces, including Algiers, will be shortened to run from 5 pm to 7 am.

The government made no changes to the confinement measures in the remaining provinces where a 7 pm-7 am curfew has been imposed for weeks.

"The 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."

(Reuters)

The Washington Post reports on Friday morning that the coronavirus in Africa could lead to wider issues of a lack of food supplies and more malaraia cases due to the strain on public health services, following a spike of up to 40% in Covid-19 cases across the continent over the past week. 

According to the Daily Post in Nigeria, South Africa is to start easing lockdown restrictions from 1 May

“We will implement what we call a risk-adjusted strategy through which we take a deliberate and cautious approach to the easing of current lockdown restrictions,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

The lockdown began March 27, with residents only allowed to leave their homes for groceries, pharmaceuticals and medical appointments.

The spread of infections slowed during the lockdown period, which was later extended until April 30.

South Africa has Africa’s highest number of coronavirus cases, with 3,953 infections and 75 deaths announced on Thursday.

Covid-19 blog Africa - welcome


Hello and welcome to our daily live blog covering all the latest development in the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

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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