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

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - 26 June

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 01:30 WAT on Saturday 27 June (02:30 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 9,764,997 cases have been detected worldwide, with 492,807 deaths and 4,917,328 people have recovered

South Africa: 124,590 cases / 2,340 deaths

Nigeria: 23,298 cases / 554 deaths

Ghana: 15,834 / 103 deaths

A look at the inequality

WHO assess global impact

South Africa nears 125k case mark

South African's Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has reported  6,215 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, bringing the country's total to 118,375. There 48 new deaths recorded, taking the total up to 2,340. 

IMF board approves $5.2 bln, 12-month loan program for Egypt

The International Monetary Fund threw a lifeline to Egypt on Friday, saying its executive board approved a new $5.2 billion, 12-month Stand-By Arrangement that aims to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemicand plug budget and balance-of-payments shortfalls.

In a statement, the IMF said the program "would also helpthe authorities preserve the achievements made over the pastfour years, support health and social spending to protect vulnerable groups, and advance a set of key structural reforms."

Djibouti has highest case rate in Africa

While South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana top the grim rankings of case numbers, Djibouti currently has the highest case rate in Africa. Djibouti has so far registered 4,643 cases and 52 deaths. 

S.Africa to reopen casinos and cinemas despite COVID-19 spread

 South Africa will allow casinos and cinemas to reopen and restaurants to resume sit-down meals on Monday in a further easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions despite a sharp rise in infections. The country began easing restrictions put in place in March last month and at the beginning of June allowed people outside for work, worship, exercise or shopping, and let mines and factories to run at full capacity to try to revive the economy.

It has recorded 118,375 infections of the highly contagious respiratory disease and 2,292 deaths and daily case numbers rose by more than 6,500 on Thursday after less than 1,000 in April.

But tourism is an important revenue-earner and three months of lockdown has left many businesses fighting for survival. 'We are continuing with the effort to reactivate the tourism sector so that we can save businesses and jobs in the sector,' Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a televised briefing, after warning last month that up to 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector remained shut until September.

Business travel has been allowed from June 1, but overnight leisure stays are still forbidden to try to contain the spread of the virus. Kubayi-Ngubane said casinos would operate at 50% capacity, while cinemas and theatres would only be allowed 50 people or less.

Restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops could offer sit-in services in addition to the take-aways they had already been allowed but would not be able to serve alcohol. Tourism Business Council of South Africa chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said many restaurants might find it unprofitable to reopen without on on-site alcohol consumption.

'At the end of it all it goes some way but we're still far off and businesses are going to continue to bleed, retrenchments are coming in large volumes,' he said in an interview on news broadcaster eNCA.

South Africa to pay coronavirus relief payments until September

South Africa is committed to paying coronavirus relief payments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund until September, the Minister of Employment and Labour has confirmed. The news will come as somewhat of a relief to the millions of South Africans struggling as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. 

“We remain committed to pay the TERS Benefits till June 2020 as per the initial Directive of 26 March 2020. The benefits will continue to be paid to eligible employees as set out in COVID-19 Directives of April, May and June 2020 and will be paid according to the same benefits structure of the income replacement rate varying between 38% and 60%”, said Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Ivory Coast flash floods kill at least seven, more rain expected

At least seven people have died in flash floods following torrential rains that have pummelled Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan in the past couple of days, authorities said on Friday. More rainfall is expected on Friday and Saturday, the country's meteorological services said, heralding more destruction in the country's oceanside commercial capital.

Battering rain quickly overwhelmed the city's drainage system on Thursday, flooding major thoroughfares, some of which are barely above sea level. Cars and debris were swept away by the torrent and residents in low-lying homes had to seek safety. 'In some places, the rainfall could reach 300 millimetres (a foot) today, or six times the threshold for a critical alert,' Vincent Toh Bi Irié, the administrative head of the Abidjan area, said on his Facebook page on Friday, referring to the maximum level in the meteorological warning system.

He urged residents not venture into flood risk areas and said people in neighborhoods at risk of landslides should leave. Amankou Gabin, the head of the civil protection unit, told Reuters the provisional death toll was at seven between Thursday and Friday, adding that rescue operations were still ongoing. Measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus mean movement out of the greater Abidjan area, where infections are clustered, is restricted and a midnight to dawn curfew is in place.

The West African nation's April to end-October rainy season sometimes cause deadly floods and landslides. Gabin said a lack of respect for planning laws had made the situation worse, citing homes built in storm basins meant to carry rainwater to Abidjan's crocodile-infested lagoon. Farmers in key cocoa-growing regions told Reuters this week they were concerned the rain could flood crops and hamper their transport to the coast. Exporters in the world's top cocoa producer are due to report on port arrivals on Monday.

African latest figues

This infographic from the Daily Nation gives an overview of the situation in Africa, where over 350,000 have officially contracted the virus, with more than 9,000 dead...

Rwanda places six Kigali districts back under lockdown

Ethiopian man over 100 in "incredible" recovery from coronavirus

A man in Ethiopia believed to be aged 114 has staged an “incredible” recovery after contracting the coronavirus, the BBC has reported. Aba Tilahun Woldemichael was diagnosed with Covid-19 when a random screening process was carried out in his neighbourhood in Addis Ababa. He spent 14 days in hospital, and required oxygen treatment for over a week

It’s really incredible that he survived being so old and we are happy that he has been discharged,” the BBC was told by Dr Hiluf Abate of the Yeka Kotebe hospital in the Ethiopian capital.

WHO-led coalition urges $31.3 billion investment in equitable access to Covid-19 tools

The Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, a WHO-led group working for the development of, and equitable access to, coronavirus testing, treatment and vaccines, has called for $31.3 billion of investment in the initiative.

“The principle of equitable access is a simple thing to say, but a complicated thing to implement,” WHO direct general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. “It requires active collaboration between governments, industry, health organizations, civil society organizations, and communities.

“Vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics are vital tools - but to be truly effective they must be administered with another essential ingredient, which is solidarity.”

Accelerating coronavirus spread

Dr Tom Frieden, the former director of the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has offered this stark illustration of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus pandemic:

DR Congo ebola outbreak over, says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday announced the end of the world’s second-deadliest outbreak of ebola in DR Congo, which had led to over 2,200 deaths since 2018.

Speaking in the wake of the news, WHO Africa regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “One of the most important lessons that have been learned is the need to engage with, work with, enable communities to be knowledgeable, to be empowered, to play their role in different ways.”

Latest WHO figures: 345,217 confirmed cases in Africa, leading to 8,960 deaths

Kenyan police kill three during protest

Kenyan police shot and killed three people in the town of Lessos on Thursday, amid protests against the arrest of a motorbike taxi rider for breaking coronavirus restrictions in the country.

Kenyan police said that one man was shot as protesters confronted the arresting officer, before two more were killed as people attacked the police station and burned down the commanding officer’s house.

“The Inspector General National Police Service has […] ordered the immediate arrest and suspension of the officer who was involved in a shooting incident,” a police statement read.

It added: “The National Police Service of Kenya reiterates its commitment to its highest ideal of service for all, […] and holds the position that no officer is allowed to take the law into their own hands.” 

South Africa set for its worst recession in 90 years

A visual look at Africa's cases. Egypt and South Africa remain hotspots for the disease.

Liberia

Several countries in Africa have had to contend with much more than just the coronavirus as rainy season kicks in

A man walks on flooded street in Monrovia, Liberia, 25 June 2020. Torrential rains hit across West African. Rainy season generally occurs between April and October, and often causes flooding and drainage-related issues. (Inundaciones) EFE/EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

Nigeria facing "worst recession in 40 years"

According to the World Bank, the coronavirus pandemic coupled with a drop in crude oil prices leaves Nigeria's economy facing a 3.2 percent contraction in 2020, against an intial forecast of 2.1 percent growth at the start of the year. 
 

The BBC have taken a look at how the supply chain has been disrupted by the coronavirus in Africa. One sector that has been deeply impacted by the pandemic is the flower industry in East and Southern Africa, which is one of the biggest exporters of cut flowers in the world. Prior to the pandemic, the global cut flower market was worth $13bn (£10.4bn) per annum, according to international flower trade association Union Fleurs. Delayed and cancelled flights, increased freight costs and a huge fall in demand have brought the flower trade to a virtual standstill.

Online coverage of coronavirus pandemic in Africa

It's Friday, 26 June, and we will bring you all the latest news as Africa continues to battle with the coronavirus. It has already taken 9,104 lives on the continent. Egypt and South Africa have been the hardest hit with over 2,500 deaths in each country.

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