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

Coronavirus live: Africa latest news - 2 July 2020


Africa Covid-19 update: 07:25 WAT on Friday 3 July (08:25 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by John Hopkins University, 10,871,362 cases have been detected worldwide, with 521,298 deaths and 5,754,013 people recovered.

South Africa: 168,061 cases / 2,844 deaths

Nigeria: 27,100 cases / 616 deaths

Ghana: 18,134 / 117 deaths

When are schools reopening in Nigeria?

Nigeria decided to gradually re-open schools and the dates are to be announced soon.

40 patients discharged in Lagos

A total of 40 patients (17 females and 23 males - including two foreign nationals) undergoing treatment for coronavirus at isolation centres in Lagos State were discharged on Thursday. The patients - 19 from Onikan, 7 from Gbagada, 3 from Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, 8 from Agidingbi and 3 from LUTH Isolation Centres were discharged after full recovery and testing negative for Covid-19.


Lockdown ends in Kano, Nigeria

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a 'mysterious disease' killed hundreds of citizens.

The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian. In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus.

Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time. Kano's health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6.

Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse. Nevertheless, Nigeria on Wednesday said it would restart domestic flights from July 8.

Carlos Ahenkorah denies Intensive Care rumours

Ghana's deputy minister for Trade and Industry Carlos Ahenkorah said he tested positive for Covid-19 last week but insists he is asymptomatic. Ahenkorah denied reports that he was admitted to the intensive care unit and says he has been self-isolating.

"I wish I could go back and take that penalty again..." - Asamoah Gyan


Africa does not have manifold undetected coronavirus infections

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not think there are manifold undetected coronavirus infections in Africa with people dying unreported, the regional director of the organisation said on Thursday.

“We think that there is a certain underestimation of cases,” Matshidiso Moeti told a news conference, adding that the WHO was working with countries to improve their surveillance.

Africa has reported 416,063 confirmed coronavirus cases with 10,297 deaths, while 196,944 patients have recovered, according to a Reuters tally based on government statistics and WHO data.

Sierra Leone doctors' strike leaves Covid-19 patients stranded

Doctors treating Covid-19 patients in Sierra Leone went on strike on Thursday over unpaid bonuses, leaving patients in some of the main treatment centres without care, healthworkers said.

The strike marks an escalation in a row between doctors and government over what doctors say is a misuse of funds for the coronavirus response in the small West African country, and a lack of protection and compensation for healthworkers.

Doctors say that they were promised hazard pay for their work during the outbreak, but that the pay has not come.  Since the outbreak began, around 20 percent of Sierra Leone's total coronavirus expenditure, or nearly $850,000, went to procuring 30 new SUVs and 230 motorbikes for the Emergency Operations Center, Office of National Security, police force, and military, according to procurement reports released by Sierra Leone's finance ministry on May 22.

The only medical equipment listed on that procurement report was eight ventilators, which cost the finance ministry approximately $85,285. Meanwhile, the health ministry's Covid-19 situation reports routinely describe a lack of funds to pay for contact tracers. Doctors complain of a lack of protective equipment like gloves, masks and coveralls vital to prevent infections spreading from patients to hospital staff.

Of the some 1,500 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Sierra Leone, 160 have been health workers. The country's ranks of medical staff were already hit hard during an Ebola outbreak from 2014-16 that killed 250 medical workers out of a total of only around 4,000. 

Covid-19 has cost Africa's tourism industry $55bn, says AU

African countries have lost almost $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the African Union (AU) commissioner for infrastructure and energy said on Thursday.

Amani Abou-Zeid told a news conference the economic impact of lockdowns and border closures to curb the spread of the virus would be severe, with the continent's air industry hit particularly hard.

She said tourism and travel represented almost 10% of the gross domestic product of Africa.

"We have 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism," Abou-Zeid said, adding the downturn had come in a year when Africa was expected to see an increase in travel and air transport.

"The blow is very hard, between the economic losses and the job losses," Abou-Zeid said. African airlines have seen a 95% drop in revenues, or about $8 billion, along with other losses such as the deterioration of assets, she said. (Reuters)

As pandemic spreads, Congo poet warns in music video of 'empty cooking pots'

As the coronavirus spreads in Democratic Republic of Congo, a popular Congolese poet warns in his new music video that lockdowns are leaving the nation's many poor with no means of sustenance.

With Kinshasa's goat-grilling joints, bars and churches closed in efforts to curb COVID-19 contagion, "the silence hits us, and it's too much!" Yekima sings in his video entitled "Mpiak'corona" released on June 27.

"They are already telling us to be careful, outside there is an illness with the name COVID," he says in his "afro-slam" style, a blend of slam poetry and modern African beats.

"But since then, what we get is an empty cup, an empty cooking pot, an empty dinner table."

Covid-19 vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech shows early positive results

Pfizer and BioNTech announced 'encouraging' early results for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Saying it produced neutralizing antibodies and was generally 'well tolerated.'

"Covid-19 the heaviest economic hit on Sub-Saharan Africa since 70s"

Whats the latest in the global vaccine race?

This fine article from the New York Times offers the latest news in the various stages of the several vaccines in development around the world.

Full article here

Jo'burg protests over vaccine trials

A number of protesters aired their anger at the South African governments' enthiasum to embrace vaccine trials over traditional medicines. 

Africa's Covid-19 hotspots

South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria remain the nations on the continent with the highest number of coronavirus cases.

Nigeria to restart domestic flights July 8 in easing of coronavirus curbs

Nigeria will resume domestic flights from July 8, the government said on Wednesday, as Africa's most populous country relaxes novel coronavirus restrictions despite mounting cases and deaths.

The airports for the capital Abuja and Lagos will open on July 8, while a handful of others are set to open July 11 and the rest on July 15, the government said on its official Twitter account.

No date was given for the resumption of international flights.

Nigeria had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday, with little sign of the outbreak slowing. Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse.

When will South Africa open borders and resume international flights?

South Africa, the continent's worst-hit nation, has recently eased many lockdown restrictions during level 3 of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic


Ghanaian football league canceled due to pandemic

Ghanaian officials resorted to league cancelation due to Covid-19 crisis.

Coronavirus pandemic in Africa - welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has registered over 10.5 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.