Coronavirus Africa news summary: June 30

Coronavirus live: Africa latest news - 30 June 2020

This live blog is now closed. For all the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic relating to Africa, please follow the live feed for 1 July here.

Casino

A worker wears a protective face shield as she waits at a slot machine ahead of the opening of the Sun International's Times Square Casino, as South Africa eases some aspects of a stringent nationwide coronavirus lockdown, in South Africa's administrative capital Pretoria. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Coronavirus vaccine trials have begun in South Africa

Africa's first Covid-19 vaccine trial is underway in South Africa. The trial started in Johannesburg, the commercial capital, and Pretoria, the national capital, in Gauteng province, and will gradually spread to other parts of the country. In Johannesburg, some participants are residents of Soweto township. The vaccine, developed by Oxford University's (UK) Jenner Institute, will inoculate two thousand South Africans.

More now recovering from Covid-19 

The number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 stands at 5,292,901, according to John Hopkins University.

South Africa update as of 30 June

Western Cape has 15,819 active cases of Covid-19 infection, with a total of 62,157 confirmed cases while 44,514 patients have recovered.

 

Soccer-African Cup of Nations postponed from January next year to 2022

Next January's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon have been postponed by one year and will now take place in 2022, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 health crisis has suspended football across most of the continent since March and left little time to complete the qualification competition, said CAF president Ahmad Ahmad at a news conference.

The Cup of Nations were due to be held from Jan. 9-Feb. 6 next year but will now be scheduled for January 2022.

"This decision was taken due to the uncertainties about the coronavirus health situation and especially because of the scheduling problems since four rounds of qualifiers would need to be fitted into the October and November windows for international matches," said Ahmad.

Spain to open border with Morocco only in case of reciprocity

Spain will only open its borders with Morocco if there is a reciprocal agreement to let people travelling via Spain enter the North African country, Spanish government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said on Tuesday.

Every summer tens of thousands of members of Europe's Moroccan diaspora converge in Spain by car to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and return home either directly or via the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast.

Authorities from both countries deploy extra border officials to smooth the immigration process and avoid holdups

Kenya's economy expands by 4.9% in the first quarter of this year

Kenya's economy grew by 4.9% in the first quarter of this year, down from a rate of 5.5% in the same quarter last year, the statistics office said on Tuesday.

EU agrees 'safe' list of 14 countries for travel resumption with 4 African nations included

European Union governments have agreed an initial "safe list" of 14 countries from which they will allow non-essential travel from July, with the United States among the most notable of absences.

The "safe" countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, the European Council said on Tuesday.

In addition, China would be included if it reciprocated by allowing in EU travellers.

Digital connectivity across Africa

The AfricaConnect project aims to establish UbuntuNet, a high-capacity regional data network for research and education in Eastern and Southern Africa, and to improve the volume and reliability of connectivity to the global research and education community. 

Nigeria dissected

Botswana taps into strategic fuel reserves to ease shortages

Botswana has tapped into its strategic fuel reserves to alleviate shortages caused by import delays during the coronavirus crisis and also what the government has called panic-buying, report Reuters.

The southern African country has lifted a lockdown to contain the coronavirus but its borders remain closed, with only essential imports allowed and truckers tested for the virus and quarantined before they enter.

It has recorded a relatively low number of Covid-19 infections, with only 16 active cases and one death.

Many fuel stations in the capital Gaborone ran out of fuel in the past few days and there were long queues at those that still had supplies.

Osimhen named best African in French Lique 1

At 21 the Lagos-born forward is the youngest ever recipient of the Prix Marc Vivien-Foe, named in honour of the late Cameroon player who died aged 28 in 2003.

Covid-19 advice

Message from WHO six months on

'Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world – and our lives – would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus. The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst of humanity.

All over the world we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity and kindness. But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicization of the pandemic.'

Senegal lifts Covid-19 state of emergency to protect economy

Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday said he had decided to lift a state of emergency over Covid-19 to support the struggling economy, which he warned could grow less than 1.1% this year due to fallout from the epidemic.

As recently as January, growth was forecast at 6.8% in 2020, but business activity plummeted after borders closed and a curfew and social distancing rules were imposed to curb the virus, which has infected over 6,600 and killed 108.

"This is the challenge we must now face: to fight to preserve our lives and our health, and to resume all our productive activities to get our economy back on track," Sall said in a speech to the nation.

The state of emergency and a night-time curfew will be lifted as of Tuesday 2300 local time, and air borders will open from 15 July under certain conditions, he said.

Nigerian president discusses OPEC+ deal compliance

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a phone call with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, reviewed the current progress made on the OPEC+ deal, state news agency (SPA) said on Monday.

Salman and Buhari also reviewed aspects of cooperation to enhance stability of oil markets, SPA added.

Africa's growing middle class being battered by coronavirus

About 170 million out of Africa’s 1.3 billion people are now classified as middle class. But about eight million of them could be thrust into poverty because of the coronavirus and its economic fallout, according to World Data Lab

How Canadian bureaucracy botched critical Ebola treatment

Some labs have been preparing for years for pandemics like Covid-19. At the world’s most secure facilities—Level 4 laboratories like the Canadian lab in Winnipeg—pandemic preparedness has long been a key part of their work.

Catch up

Here are a selection of the stories that have been making the coronavirus-related news in the last 24 hours:

- Nigerians contend with rising food prices amid Covid-19 pandemic

- "We are on our knees": Kenya loses over $750m in tourism revenue

- Nigeria to ease curbs on inter-state travel and students

- Lockdown in South Africa: gathering with friends allowed, but not at home

- Kenya economy set to contract for first time since 1993

Africa Covid-19 update: 07:00 WAT on Tuesday 30 June (08:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University10,302,052 cases have been detected worldwide, with 505,505 deaths and 5,235,813 people recovered.

South Africa: 144,264 cases / 2,529 deaths

Nigeria: 25,133 cases / 573 deaths

Ghana: 17,351 / 112 deaths

Coronavirus pandemic in Africa -welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has registered over 10 million cases and over 500,000 deaths worldwide, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

We'll endeavour to keep you up-to-date with the latest developments as they emerge in Africa throughout the day.

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