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Coronavirus Africa: news summary for Monday 20 July

A member of the South African military talks to a man during a patrol in Johannesburg.

Coronavirus live Africa: latest news - 20 July


Africa Covid-19 update: 02:00 WAT on Tuesday 21 July (03:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 14,647,246 cases have been detected worldwide, with 608,965 deaths and 8,223,785 people recovered.

South Africa: 373,628 cases / 5,173 deaths

Nigeria: 37,225 cases / 801 deaths

Ghana: 28,430 cases / 153 deaths

Long-term effects of Covid-19

Common symptoms when presenting with the disease include cough, fever, dyspnea (shortness of breath), musculoskeletal symptoms (myalgia, joint pain, fatigue), gastrointestinal symptoms, and anosmia (loss of sense of smell)/dysgeusia (loss of sense of taste). 

This study showed that after having the disease, 44.1% of patients in the trial reported worsened quality of life, with 87.4% reporting persistence of at least one symptom, particularly fatigue and shortness of breath. 

Nigeria reports 562 Covid-19 cases on Monday

The total for Nigeria now stands at 37,225 (note this is above the figure compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as of 23:20 WAT)

Meanwhile, the president of the African Development bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, has sent good wishes to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is in isolation as he is treated for Covid-19. "I wish my brother @GeoffreyOnyeama... a speedy recovery from Covid-19" he tweeted.

Charity provides computer tablets to less privileged students in Malawi

Parents say the intervention has eased their worry over their children's education, a worry which spiked again after the government announced last week that it had suspended plans to reopen schools on 13 July due to a rise in Covid-19 cases. 

"I lost hope, but with the coming of these iPads, we are very happy because now my children have something to do," said parent Olive Makison. "They have stopped playing around. They are now learning. This will improve their education."

Egypt update

More and more attention being turned to coronavirus developments in Egypt.

South Africa spread alarming WHO

The World Health Organization voiced alarm Monday at the spread of Covid-19 in Africa, warning that South Africa's surging numbers could be a "precursor" for outbreaks across the continent.

"I am very concerned right now that we are beginning to see an acceleration of disease in Africa," WHO's emergencies chief Michael Ryan told a virtual press conference.

Until recently, Africa had remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic compared to the surging numbers seen in other parts of the world.

HHS says new Covid-19 hospitalization database, is more complete than CDC one

The Trump administration unveiled a new website of Covid-19 hospitalization data that officials said offers a more complete picture of the outbreak than the data previously compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The administration instructed hospitals last week to stop reporting to the CDC’s long-standing National Healthcare Safety Network, which provides officials “with data needed to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections.”

Instead, hospitals were instructed to report such data through a new portal with HHS.

Covid-19 diaries: can Tanzania really be coronavirus-free? 

"Today I decided to do my own coronavirus survey, here in Dar es Salaam. Tanzania. The reason is that I am trying to deal with my confusion.   

Two countries in the world don’t report cases of Covid-19 because, officially, it is not there. These are North Korea and… Tanzania. And yes, I happen to be locked down in Dar es Salaam, the main city of… Tanzania.   

The number of countries that have reported cases of Covid-19 now stands at 188. I don’t know how I managed to end up in a country that claims not to have the coronavirus, but I did. My arrival in Tanzania was on March 16 and I have been here ever since, safely staying at the Mikadi Beach Camp."

Read on below...

Africa's Covid-19 numbers dissected

South Africa continues to show the bulk of the cases but concerns in Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Algeria where they all reporting sizeable figures.

Oxford vaccine triggers immune response, say initial trial results

Human trials on a coronavirus vaccine being developed at Oxford University have shown that it appears to trigger a protective immune response against Covid-19.

The vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, has been tested on just over 1,000 people.

"Preliminary results from a phase 1/2 trial involving 1077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong antibody & T cell immune responses," said results published in the medical journal The Lancet.

"Further testing is needed to confirm if the vaccine effectively protects against infection."

Johnson Sakaja quits 

(Reuters) The chairman of Kenya's senate committee overseeing the government's response to the coronavirus crisis, Johnson Sakaja, has quit the post after police said he flouted an overnight curfew to enjoy drinks with others in a Nairobi bar.

"I will bear responsibility ... I apologise to Kenyans and I will face the full consequences of the law," Sakaja, who represents Nairobi county and is a close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, told reporters on Monday.

Police said Sakaja was caught in the early hours of Saturday morning drinking with about 10 others, long after a 9 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew had set in. He is the first Kenyan official to lay on his sword after breaking the myriad lockdown rules.

Senior Kenya official nabbed drinking after hours

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said he will take responsibility for breaking the curfew rules he helped to introduce. 

Ethiopian farmers slaughter thousands of chicks as Covid-19 hits demand

(Reuters) Ethiopian poultry farmers have destroyed hundreds of thousands of chicks, as the sector reels from a collapse in demand from the hotel sector because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ethiopia's movement restrictions to try to contain the novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, has led hotels in Addis Ababa to reduce operations or even to close, removing a major source of demand for poultry products.

Nigeria case numbers for 19 June

South Africa death toll exceeds 5,000

The latest figures from South Africa, the worst-affected country on the continent, report a further 85 fatalities on Sunday. 

Kenya cases pass 13,000

According to the latest figures from the Kenyan Health Ministry there were more than 600 new cases reported over the past 24 hours. 

South Africa data called into question

Some Kenyans think Covid-19 doesn't exist

A surprising amount of people in Kenya are skeptical about the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC reports. Since the crisis started, Kenya has a relatively low rate of infection and fatalities due to Covid-19 - 13,353 confirmed cases have been recorded while the current death rate stands at 234.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic


Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this guide you’ll find a summary of many of the recommendations and explanations provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other public health authorities, along with answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.

Coronavirus live Africa updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 08:00 WAT had registered just under 14.5 million cases and more than 609,000 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

According to the latest World Health Organization count for Africa, there have been almost 664,000 cases in the continent, leading to approximately 14,400 fatalities.