Coronavirus Africa news summary: cases and deaths - 13 May

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Coronavirus live updates: Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana... cases, deaths and news, today

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Wednesday 13 May

This coronavirus Africa blog is now closed. For the latest breaking news and developments relating to the pandemic, follow the live feed for Thursday 14 May here.

Truck drivers test positive for Covid-19 in Namanga

Namanga in Kajiado County has been declared a high-risk zone. 23 of the truck drivers who tested positive are Tanzanians, one is Ugandan and one is a Rwandese national, Dr.Rashid Aman confirmed.

Nigerians evacuated from Dubai stage protest

Nigerians who were recently repatriated from Dubai voiced their unhappiness at how they have been treated by the government in a protest at a hotel in Lekki where they are under quarantine. It emerged that a 32-year-old man who was among the evacuees died of causes unrelated to Covid-19 on Tuesday but his death was falsely reported by authorities as coronavirus-linked.

Covid-19 update from Lagos - more patients discharged

Lagos Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu gave an update on the situation in the state over the past 24 hours. 

A total of patients - 13 male and 13 female, all Nigerians were discharged from the Yaba, Onikan and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation facilities on Wednesday.

The patients, six from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, 11 from Onikan and nine from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative for Covid-19 in two consecutive readings.

The total number of Covid-19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos stands at 528.


Coronavirus may become endemic, says WHO

The World Health Organisation has warned that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, could be come endemic, like HIV.

"It is important to put this on the table: This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away," said Mike Ryan, the WHO's emergencies expert.

"I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear. I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be," continued Ryan.

He noted that while there were great hopes for a vaccine, there are many other illness, such as measles, where vaccines exist but the disease has not been eliminated. 

Ramaphosa to discuss easing Covid-19 restrictions further by end-May

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday that his government would start talks on moving most of the country to Alert Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions by the end of May, from the current Alert Level 4.

Ramaphosa added in an address to the nation that parts of the country with the highest rates of infection would remain at Level 4 and that changes to that level of restrictions would be announced in the coming days.

Find out more about Alert Level 3 here

Drones used to transport Covid-19 tests in Ghana

American company Zipline International Inc. is using drones to transport Covid-19 tests between rural Ghana and two of the country’s main cities.

Using autonomous drones — those that fly without a navigator — Zipline is able to reach more than 1,000 health facilities in remote parts of Ghana, dropping test kits packed in boxes that are affixed to parachutes. Drones then fly the samples from prearranged pickup points back to the Ghanaian cities of Accra or Kumasi, where the tests are processed.

Zipline hopes to expand to other countries over the coming weeks.

Call to cancel poor countries' debt

Cancel debt and boost funding to avoid an economic meltdown as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc...

Lesotho becomes last country in Africa to record COVID-19 case

Lesotho recorded its first case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, becoming the last country in southern and East Africa to be afflicted by the virus.

The ministry said it had conducted 81 tests for COVID-19 from travellers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia, of which one was positive.

The remote, high-altitude kingdom, nestled in a South African mountain range, had previously been spared the coronavirus, although its bigger, more industrialised neighbour has recorded more than 10,000 cases.

The disease has struck at a time of political uncertainty in Lesotho, with embattled Prime Minister Thomas Thabane due to step down by the end of next week after his coalition collapsed in parliament.

Egypt presses on with new capital in the desert amid virus outbreak

While Egypt's economy has stumbled due to the coronavirus outbreak, construction at a new capital taking shape east of Cairo is continuing at full throttle after a short pause to adjust working practices, officials say.

The level of activity at the desert site - where trucks rumble down newly built roads and cranes swing over unfinished apartment blocks - reflects the new city's political importance even as the government grapples with the pandemic.

Known as the New Administrative Capital, it is the biggest of a series of mega-projects championed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a source of growth and jobs.


A soldier stands guard as police officers check documents of commuters at a minibus taxi rank in Cape Town, South Africa, during a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

Kyari successor as Nigeria chief of staff announced

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has named Ibrahim Gambari as his new chief of staff. Gambari replaces Abba Kyari, who died in April after contracting Covid-19.

Students in Senegal get inventing amid coronavirus fight

Engineering students in Dakar, Senegal, have risen to the technological challenge of the coronavirus crisis, creating gadgets such as automatic hand-sanitiser dispensers and a robot capable of taking a patient’s blood pressure and temperature.

According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there have been 1,995 registered coronavirus cases in Senegal, leading to 21 deaths.

Covid-19 restraints could lead to increase in HIV vulnerability - UNAIDS chief

Shannon Hader, the deputy executive programme director at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), has spoken of concerns that the coronavirus-motivated restrictions in place in could lead to an increase in people’s vulnerability to HIV in Africa.


Family members and funeral workers carry the coffin of a man who died from Covid-19, at a cemetery in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham)

WHO releases latest Covid-19 dashboard

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released this dashboard of coronavirus figures covering the whole of Africa, country by country:

When will South Africa enter Level 3 of lockdown?

South Africa has been under lockdown since 26 March but according to Minister of Police Bheki Cele, some restrictions may soon be eased.

Full story:

"It was like a I was already a Covid suspect"

The BBC’s Basillioh Mutahi has spoken to a nurse in Nairobi, Kenya, who was shunned and stigmatised after coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient, despite wearing all the required protective equipment while treating the person. 

"Out there it was like I was already a Covid suspect. It really affected me,” said Eunice Mwabili, who has not been alone in suffering this treatment, the report adds.

Coronavirus live Africa: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered just over 4.25 million cases worldwide. We'll be looking to bring you the latest news and numbers as they emerge throughout the course of the day.