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Coronavirus Africa summary: cases, deaths and news - 18 July

A mask-clad worker measures the body temperature of incoming Muslim worshippers (COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic precaution) arriving for prayers at the Hasan II mosque, one of the largest in the African continent, in Morocco's Casablanca on June 16, 2

Coronavirus live Africa: latest news - 18 July


Africa Covid-19 update: 01:45 WAT on Sunday 19 July (02:45 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University14,210,040 cases have been detected worldwide, with 600,435 deaths and 7,983,920 people recovered

South Africa: 350,879 cases / 4,9,48 deaths

Nigeria: 36,107 cases / 778 deaths

Ghana: 27,060 cases / 145 deaths

Global Covid-19 related deaths pass 600,000 mark

More than 600,000 people have lost their lives to the virus around the world according to the latest figures released by Johns Hopkins University. 

Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day in July, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June.

The US is by far the worst-affected country worldwide in terms of cases and deaths, with 139,960 fatalities. Brazil, with the next-worst toll, has 78,772 deaths with the UK having the highest European figure with over 45,000.

South Africa Super Rugby teams back in training on Monday

South Africa’s Super Rugby franchises will be allowed to start training next week, officials confirmed as things move a step closer to a return to the playing field after a frustrating four months.

The game has been suspended in the country since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with South African Rugby having to sit idle as domestic competitions took flight in New Zealand and Australia.

"This is an important first step back to playing, and we have taken it carefully to ensure full compliance and having thoroughly interrogated the regulations with government," SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said in a statement.

"Contact training will not be permitted for the moment but the players will be allowed back onto the field with a rugby ball and back into the gym – while observing strict protocols in both areas – which comes as a great relief to the sport."

Only the eight teams that are likely to feature in a domestic competition later this year will train – Super Rugby franchises the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, PRO14 teams Southern Kings and Toyota Cheetahs, and provincial Currie Cup outfits Griquas and Pumas.

50,000 pre-orders for the hazmat suit!!!

Covid-19 has claimed over 14,600 African lives

South Africa, Egypt and Algeria have seen the highest death tolls of Covid-19 in the continent. 

"Algeria is facing an unprecedented difficult economic situation”

Algeria said Saturday that the combination of the coronavirus crisis and falling oil prices have caused unprecedented damage to its economy, including over $1bn in losses in the public sector alone.

“Algeria is facing an unprecedented difficult economic situation,” said prime minister Abdelaziz Djerad

WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases for second day in a row

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with the total rising by 259,848 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases reported on Saturday were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 237,743 on Friday. Deaths rose by 7,360, the biggest one-day increase since May. 10. Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day in July, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June.

Total global coronavirus cases surpassed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 600,000 people in seven months.

The WHO reported 71,484 new cases in the United States, 45,403 in Brazil, 34,884 in India and 13,373 in South Africa. India on Friday became the third country in the world to record more than 1 million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the United States and Brazil. Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.

African Union Member States report 683,905 cases

A snapshot from the African CDC on the latest Covid-19 situation affecting the continent

Over 2,000 health care workers in Ghana have tested positive for coronavirus

Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general of the Ghana Health Service, could not specify exactly how 2,000-plus health care workers became infected.

Full article via CNN

Zambian league set back after new Covid-19 cases

The return of the Zambian Super League has been put on hold after leaders Forest Rangers revealed that 28 players and staff had tested positive for Covid-19. Rangers said on Saturday morning, hours before the scheduled re-start of the 2019-20 campaign, that they had 28 positive tests out of 58 conducted at the club ahead of their clash with Zanaco in Ndola.

Seventeen of the positive cases are players, this despite a club social media post on Tuesday, which has since been edited, that said all tests had come back negative. Club spokesperson Christina Zulu said the social media post related only to the 30 negative cases, and that all 28 positive cases were revealed to the team later.

"There were two lots of tests done," Zulu told Reuters by telephone. "I cannot comment on how the results were received, but earlier in the week all the results we had were negative. But we are ready to play, our game with Zanaco will go ahead as scheduled. That is our understanding."

But just minutes before the match was due to kick off, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) announced that the fixture would be postponed on the advice of the Ndola Public Health Office.

There are 10 rounds remaining in the Super League season with six points separating leaders Rangers and Lusaka Dynamos in sixth in a congested top section of the table.

G20 should start talks on "reducing debts of poorest countries"

World Bank President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 major economies to extend a freeze in official debt payments by the poorest countries through the end of 2021, and said they should start talks on reducing the debt of some countries.

Malpass told a virtual meeting of G20 finance officials that some major official creditors were not participating fully in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and private creditors should stop collecting payments from the poorest countries.

"Even with these immediate steps ... many of the poorest countries won’t be able to make the resulting debt burdens sustainable in the medium term," he said. "I urge the G20 to open the door to consultations about the debt overhang itself and effective ways to reduce the net present value of both official bilateral and commercial debt for the poorest countries."

South Africa daily coronavirus figures


A mask-clad worker measures the body temperature of incoming Muslim worshippers arriving for prayers at the Hasan II mosque, one of the largest on the African continent, in Morocco's Casablanca. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Africa case update

The latest coronavirus figures from the continent. 


Members of the liberation movement, Liberty Fighters Network (LFN), together with other organisations, hold placards as an ambulance drives past them during a demonstration against the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine trial at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on July 18, 2020. (Photo by Marco Longari / AFP)

Egypt reports lowest daily coronavirus figure since late May

(Reuters) - Egypt reported 703 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the health ministry said, the lowest figure since late May.

In total, 86,474 Covid-19 cases have been reported and 4,188 deaths, including 68 on Friday, the ministry said in a statement.

Egypt reopened resorts to foreign tourists on July 1 after tourism came to a halt in March under measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak. But Egypt has not made it yet to a "safe list" of countries for resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union, which is reviewed every two weeks.

A ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at Nigeria's frontline pandemic workers

'The workers who have now found themselves on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic have always been essential, we just did not notice them. Rather, it has taken a worldwide health crisis for us to realize that we depended on them and that they are risking their lives to keep the world alive. With the lockdown on most nonessential work, we are now seeing the faces of the individuals we need to survive the pandemic.

Healthcare workers are more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection than the general population because they are frequently in contact with affected individuals. According to the World Health Organization, one in ten health workers is infected with coronavirus in some countries. In May, reports by the International Council of Nurses revealed that at least 90,000 healthcare workers have been infected and more than 260 nurses had died in the Covid-19 pandemic.'

3 ways to improve Covid-19 response to elderly care and persons with disabilities 

“Countries can learn lessons from this crisis on how to build and improve the social and elderly care systems.”

Africa’s ‘Shadow Pandemic’ hits women hard

“Our economies in Africa are mostly informal and that's where most of women are, and this is where they get their source of income to care for their families...So it was quite clear to me that the impact of poverty was disproportionately very heavy on women," said Machel.

"So, nothing more logical than to say, ‘If you have to have a proper response to this and if you want to have any kind of a proper redesigning, I mean, the reconstruction, you have to bring this to the center and listen to their voices and aspirations.’”

Booze ban in SA

A reminder of the reintroduction of the alcohol restrictions in place in South Africa.

Fact check: masks save lives, wear one

Face coverings have become a topic of debate all around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Don't let dangerous rumour and misinformation fool you.

Covid-19 catch up

Here are some of the stories that have been making the coronavirus headlines over the past 24 hours:

- Egypt reported 703 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the health ministry said, the lowest figure since late May

- Coronavirus lays bare South Africa's toxic relationship with alcohol

- SA Students Congress convener in Limpopo says they support the call made by the Democratic Teachers Union that all schools must be closed until after the Covid-19 peak

- Nigeria’s stock investors lost N11bn in one week

- Kenya calls for joint EU-Africa Covid-19 response mechanism

- Kenya police arrest prison warden over rape of patient in Covid-19 quarantine

- WHO worried about ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Coronavirus live Africa updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 07:00 WAT had registered over 14.1 million cases and more than 602,000 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

South Africa continues to generate the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent with 337,594, around half of the total in Africa. They also sit sixth in the world table.