Coronavirus summary Africa: cases, deaths and news - 12 May

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Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Tuesday 12 May

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 02:00 WAT Wednesday 13 May (03:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 4,256,991 cases have been detected worldwide, with 291,487 deaths and 1,488,870 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 4,787 cases / 158 deaths
South Africa: 11,350 cases / 206 deaths
Ghana: 5,127 cases / 22 deaths
Uganda: 129 cases / 55 deaths (tbc)

The WHO has advised against using untested therapies but Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina says it shows the West's reluctance to use anything from Africa. "If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don't think so," Mr Rajoelina said in an interview with French news channel, France 24. (Per BBC)

Lesotho PM Thomas Thabane to resign

Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will leave office on Wednesday, clearing the way for a solution to a political crisis that erupted late last year, he was quoted as saying in an interview with AFP. His spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Thabane's coalition fell apart in parliament on Monday, and he was required to step down by the end of next week to make way for a new government. The prime minister had been under pressure to resign over a case in which he and his current wife are suspected of conspiring to murder his former wife nearly three years ago. They both deny any involvement.

AFP quoted him as saying he would inform King Letsie III of his intentions in a letter on Wednesday. 

Detailed update on Egypt's coronavirus cases today, 12 May.

Congo president replaces chief of staff amid graft trial

Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has temporarily replaced his chief of staff Vital Kamerhe who is charged with stealing public funds, the president's spokesman said on Tuesday.

Kamerhe, the most senior politician to ever face trial for graft in Congo, has been held at Kinshasa's Makala prison since his arrest on April 8.

The appointment to replace Kamerhe with a deputy comes a day after his high-profile trial began. He has denied all wrongdoing in relation to charges of embezzling more than $50 million in public funds.

Kamerhe's supporters say the charges are politically motivated, aimed at stymieing his chances of challenging Tshisekedi at the next elections in 2023.

There was a fear that the origin of the disease would lead to more hate crimes and Asians and it appears that is the case. 

Bank of Central African States denies CFA franc devaluation rumours

The Bank of Central African States on Tuesday denied rumours circulating in local media that it is considering a devaluation of the CFA franc currency because of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

It said in a statement that the pandemic had not impacted its currency reserves, which remain "comfortable".

It is an interesting time for journalism and reporting. Many leaders have made the updating of statistics a political fight as they try to massage numbers and keep figures down. Here's an interesting look at a country with experience of reporting on a pandemic.

Another football league gets cancelled. 

Ghana fish factory partially reopens

A fish-processing plant in Ghana where more than 500 workers tested positive for the coronavirus has partially reopened, owner Thai Union Group PCL said on Tuesday.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Sunday that one worker at the fish factory in the coastal city of Tema had infected 533 other employees. Local government and trade union officials have confirmed to Reuters that the plant is Pioneer Food Cannery Limited, which is owned by Thai Union, the world's top producer of canned tuna.

A Thai Union spokesperson said the plant, which closed on 17 April after an employee tested positive, re-opened on Monday with a limited number of staff who had been cleared to carry out maintenance and clear backlogs. "We have decided to remain closed but have been making every effort to reopen in phases as workers are cleared to return to work following negative tests," the spokesperson said. The company said it had facilitated testing of its employees, but it declined to confirm how many of them had tested positive beyond the initial case.

As of Tuesday, Ghana had reported 5,127 cases, including 22 deaths. It has also conducted by far the most tests in the region.

South Africa

People queue as food is distributed in Vrededorp, Johannesburg. Local charities have multiplied their efforts in providing food for families in need during the level 4 national lockdown in South Africa to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: WIKUS DE WET / AFP)

Zambia reports 174 new cases

The breakdown includes: 66 truck drivers, travelers, individuals in health facilities, point of entry staff, individuals detected through mass targeted community screening and contacts to known positive cases.

Madagascar president hits out at criticism of untested remedy

The president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, has hit back at criticism of a herbal drink he has touted as a potential coronavirus remedy, saying it is illustrative of the West’s condescending attitude towards Africa.

"If it wasn't Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don't think so," Rajoelina said in an interview in the French media.

The drink, which is made from artesemia and other herbs, has led the World Health Organization to warn against its use at it remains clinically untested.

Football academy

A visit to the national football stadium is usually a big occasion in a young fan's life, but for some schoolchildren in Copenhagen it has become part of the daily routine. Could other countries see similar initiatives?

Extension in Algeria

Algeria will extend measures aimed at restricting movement by 15 days until 29 May to cope with rising cases of infections with the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerrad said on Tuesday.

The government last month decided to extend until May 14 restrictions on movement including a nationwide night curfew and closures of universities, schools and mosques. Public transport and air travel are still suspended.

Smart Girls, smart masks 

An NGO in Uganda has teamed up with a fashion design house to distribute masks to vulnerable women in a further attempt to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Full story

Lockdown knock down

Nigerian states taking strong steps to ensure measures are followed.

Football to know its place

There is now doubt about what the priorities are at the moment.

UN pleased with SA

Southern Africa's coronavirus management has been met with a positive reaction.

WHO knew it was International Nurses Day 2020

Birds

Nature watch

A group of black bulbuls sits on a stalk in a forest in Kathmandu, Nepal, 12 May 2020.

Nepal is one of many destinations that summer and winter migratory birds from southern South East Asia, as well as from Africa and Australia, stop at due to its favourable breeding environment. According to bird experts, more than 900 birds species have been spotted in Nepal. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Narendra Shrestha)

Kenya's debt distress risk raised

The International Monetary Fund has raised Kenya's risk of debt distress to high from moderate due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, it said in an assessment published on Tuesday.

'The risk of debt distress has moved to high from moderate due to the impact of the global Covid-19 crisis which exacerbated existing vulnerabilities,' the fund said.

UK and Africa fight Covid-19 together

For individual governments the challenges are huge. But this is a global disease and we can overcome those challenges together with a global response.

'Madness' in Uganda

Uganda's long-serving President Yoweri Museveni has said it would be wrong to hold a presidential election due early next year if the coronavirus persists, signalling for the first time a possible postponement.

'To have elections when the virus is still there... It will be madness,' the 75-year-old Museveni, whom opponents cast as an authoritarian clinging to power, said in an interview with the local NBS Television aired late on Monday.

FT latest trends

Africa's next gen

A report showing how young people are increasingly stepping up to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in Africa with enterprising initiatives. And their contributions are making a difference 

UNICEF doubles Covid-19 appeal

United Nations children's agency UNICEF appealed on Monday for $1.6 billion, more than doubling its initial request for money two months ago to help children already suffering through humanitarian crises and now hit with the coronavirus pandemic. UNICEF said it has so far received $215 million since late March.

The United Nations last week more than tripled its appeal to help vulnerable countries combat the spread and destabilising effects of the coronavirus pandemic, asking for $6.7 billion to help 63 states mainly in Africa and Latin America.

AIDS and coronavirus

Concerning news being reported about the link between the two diseases.

Covid Africa catch-up

For a look back on what was making coronavirus news across the African continent yesterday, check out our blog.

Coronavirus Africa live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome our Africa-focused live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered well over 4 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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