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Coronavirus summary Africa: cases, deaths and news - 8 May

A volunteer helps a child wash her hands at a school feeding scheme during a nationwide lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Blue Downs township near Cape Town, South Africa, May 4, 2020. Picture taken May 4, 2020

Coronavirus live Africa updates: - cases, deaths and news, 8 May


Africa Covid-19 update: 02:00 WAT Saturday 9 May (03:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 3,935,764 cases have been detected worldwide, with 274,655 deaths and 1,319,306 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 3,526 cases / 107 deaths
South Africa: 8,895 cases / 178 deaths
Ghana: 4,012 cases / 18 deaths
Kenya: 621 cases / 29 deaths

We'll take a short pause from today's Africa Covid-19 updates and breaking news but be back with you in a matter of hours for more coronavirus news from the African continent and around the world.

Kenya bans imports of second hand clothes

Kenya will lift the ban on imports of second-hand clothes once the COVID19 Pandemic is over. Uganda on the other rescinded a decision to suspend importation of 2nd hand clothes & shoes in April. Many African nations populations rely on the cheap 2nd hand clothes & shoes imports

Ghana records over 500 coronavirus cases at industrial facility

More than 500 workers at an industrial facility in Ghana have tested positive for the coronavirus, the country's health service said on Friday, as total cases jumped by nearly 30% in a single day.

The health service did not name the facility, where it said in a statement that 533 out 1,300 workers had tested positive.

The overall number of cases in Ghana rose to 4,012, including 18 deaths, from 3,091 on Thursday. That represents the highest case total in West Africa, although Ghana has also conducted by far the most tests in the region.

Advice via the Ghana Police Service 

Dear family, we need to be constantly reminded that COVID-19 is real. Please let us heed to the advise to wear face mask and follow all the necessary protocol.


AS front cover (Saturday 9 May)

The front cover of tomorrow's paper features the positive (Atleti player Lodi, who tested positive for Covid-19) and negative, Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic who will miss roughly a month of action with a heel fracture.


Reported coronavirus cases in Egypt jump by nearly 500

Egypt reported 495 cases of the new coronavirus on Friday, its highest daily increase to date, as the number of deaths from COVID-19 confirmed by the health ministry rose above 500.

The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed by the ministry stands at 8,476, while the 21 new deaths announced on Friday bring total reported deaths to 503.

Egypt relaxed some restrictions designed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan late last month, slightly shortening a night-time curfew.


Madagascar coronavirus herbal mix draws demand from across Africa despite WHO misgivings

Madagascar is putting its self-proclaimed, plant-based "cure" for COVID-19 on sale and several countries in Africa have already put in orders for purchase, despite warnings from the World Health Organisation that its efficacy is unproven.

Last month President Andry Rajoelina launched the remedy at a news conference, drinking from a sleekly-branded bottle filled with an amber liquid which he said had already cured two people.

On Friday, a Tanzanian delegation arrived in Madagascar to collect their consignment.

The tonic, based on the plant Artemisia annua which has anti-malarial properties, has not undergone any internationally recognised scientific testing. While Rajoelina extolled its virtues, the WHO cautioned it needs to be tested for efficacy and side effects.

Between 83,000 and 190,000 people could die of COVID-19 in Africa, with 29 million to 44 million infected, in the coronavirus pandemic’s first year if containment measures do not work, the African regional office of the World Health Organization claimed.


South Africans mourn a metre apart as COVID-19 curbs funerals

Maaki Modimola sways along to a hymn in the yard of her dead sister's home in the South African township of Soweto, a bottle of sanitiser swinging in her hand.

Later at the cemetery, mourners sit on chairs spaced one metre apart. The usual choir is replaced by a recorded track blaring out of a single speaker. Maaki's sister Mary did not die from COVID-19, but its influence is everywhere in the  ceremony.

Township funerals are usually much more extravagant affairs, but, like grieving families across South Africa and beyond, Maaki and her relatives had to scale back their plans and forgo some cherished traditions to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

Vigils before interment have been banned. Funerals are limited to 50 mourners - still more than the 20 allowed in Nigeria or the 15 in Kenya.

Uganda has lifted a ban on second-hand clothes just days after the ban was put in place. There was concern that the cloths could bring coronavirus with it but those in the textile industry said there was no evidence that the virus could live that long on clothes coming from China and elsewhere. 

“You have to show they fumigated the clothes and they check. There is an excise duty and in fact that excise duty increases every year. I know people who have shifted to other businesses because of the excise duty," said the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.

WHO warns of risks to Africa

The WHO estimate that if no containment measures are taken, Covid-19 could cause deaths ranging from 83,000 to 190,000 people in Africa in the first year of the pandemic.


Locusts add to the problem

With the focus on coronavirus, another issue rears its ugly head.

Covid comedy to the rescue

Nigerian comedian Maryam Apaokagi has a sure-fire way of getting people to listen to her coronavirus health advice - she delivers it with a hard slap in the face.

The 21-year-old has joined a line-up of the nation's top performers working health tips into their routines to spread the word about Covid-19. In one of her online videos, she plays the role on an all-knowing, all-controlling Nigerian mother who watches in horror as a young man sneezes into his hands.

Within seconds she grabs a bottle of sanitiser from the bosom of her dress, slathers it over her palms, then hits him hard in the face. 'Ah, a sanitised slap,' her companion gasps in mock horror, as the young man learns his lesson the hard way. 

Research, research, research

Watch the discussion on coronavirus in Africa.

Covid-19 hits pocket of Uber drivers

“We are making these changes as a result of the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, with an aim to ensure long-term sustainability of the business,” Uber said in a letter sent to drivers last week.

Read the full story

Apocalypse not necessarily now

'Claims that Africa will be hit the worst by the pandemic ignore African epidemiological know-how and action.'

Read the view put forward by Caleb Okereke & Kelsey Nielsen

Covidiots in sport and on the balconies


Covidiots in sport and on the balconies

Covidiots in a time of pandemic

Alfredo Relaño takes a look at fools behaving stupidly during #coronavirus lockdown, including Mou and Salomón Kalou.

Bank restructure in Kenya

Kenya’s seven largest banks in April restructured loans worth Sh176 billion or 6.2 percent of the industry’s total gross loan book of Sh2.8 trillion, underlining the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus that has hurt borrowers’ ability to repay.

African infections

With the WHO warning of up to 190,000 deaths across the continent, Ryan Cummings looks into the infection rates for the global observatory.

African health challenges

African nations are facing a surge of Covid-19 cases with less than one intensive care bed and one ventilator per 100,000 people, a Reuters survey has found.

Even in a best-case scenario, the continent could need at least 10 times the number it has now as the outbreak peaks, an analysis of researchers’ projections showed. Read more

Contact tracing app concerns

With little evidence to show how effective such apps are and growing privacy concerns, there’s a risk they could do more harm than good. Wired looks into our potential future...

Full story

AS front page: Friday 8 May

190,000 Covid-19 deaths predicted

A WHO study has said that up to 190,000 people could die from the coronavirus pandemic in its first year. The analysis looked at 47 countries in the continent and warned that the virus could 'smoulder' for years to come.

President Ramaphosa to debate coronavirus response

Amongst other issues on the agenda will be consular and immigration matters, economic impact of the Covid-19 on countries as well as financial support and international pledges. 

Lockdown extension in Sudan

Sudan's emergency committee on coronavirus has recommended that a lockdown of the state of Khartoum be extended by 10 days from Sunday to help slow the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The country has so far registered 930 cases of the respiratory disease, including 52 deaths.

Sudan's security council is expected to take a final decision on the lockdown on Friday.

Coronavirus Africa live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome our Africa-focused live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered over 3.8 million cases worldwide.

We'll bring you the latest developments and statistics as they emerge throughout the course of today all across the continent and beyond.


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