Coronavirus Africa news summary for 21 July

Coronavirus live Africa: latest news - 21 July

africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 01:45 WAT on Wednesday 22 July (02:45 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University14,845,978 cases have been detected worldwide, with 613,879 deaths and 8,428,427 people recovered.

South Africa: 381,798 cases / 5,368 deaths

Egypt: 89,078 cases / 4,399

Nigeria: 37,801 cases / 805 deaths

Popular TV presenter tests positive days after splashing millions on wife’s birthday

KBC journalist Bonnie Musambi just last week took the Internet by storm after splashing millions on his wife as she turned a year older, only for him to test positive for Covid-19.

The TV and radio personality who has proven extra when it comes to treating his wife to the finest things in life apparently had contracted the disease 3 weeks ago but kept it under wraps for reasons best known to him.

Bill Gates donates $1 million for Nigeria's fight against coronavirus

A UN finance support platform tagged “One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund”, says it has received additional one million dollars to help Nigeria to address challenges posed by the pandemic in the country.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which manages the basket fund, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement quoted Mohamed Yahya, the UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, as saying that the additional fund was to aid Nigeria, as it witnessed a rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases.

Mr Yahya said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated one million dollars in support of the Nigerian government in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on July 14, 2020.

South Africa trend analysis

This report collates laboratory data from the public- and private-sectors. Laboratory test data have been de-duplicated to the level of individual persons.

Oxfam provide focus on hunger hotspots

Unlike Covid-19, hunger is not new. Millions of people were already living in hunger due to conflict, the effects of climate crisis, and the broken food system. But the pandemic is increasing inequality and making everything so much worse.

Whilst the better off have enough food and can work at home, job losses, limits on movement, and difficulties in delivering humanitarian aid are all having a devastating impact for people living in poverty.

Zimbabwe tightens Covid rules ahead of anti-government protests

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday his government would impose a night-time curfew and tighten other measures to tackle rising coronavirus infections, adding that anyone who challenged the rules faced severe punishment.

Critics and the opposition said the new steps were linked to anti-government protests planned for next week. On Monday police arrested an opposition official and a journalist, accusing them of inciting violence ahead of July 31 demonstrations by activists who say government corruption has exacerbated economic hardship.

'As of tomorrow, Wednesday, ... all our security services must enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew set to come into force daily between 1800 hours and 0600 hours,' Mnangagwa said in a televised address to the nation. 

WHO advice: for home care and caregivers

A thread from the World Health Organization provides home caregivers and those staying with a patient some important guidance.

Analyst not entirely convinced by Oxford vaccine data

Ronny Gal, an analyst at investment house Bernstein, is less than impressed by the data from the Oxford vaccine trial, saying "in the competitive context they fail to impress." By that he means when compared to some of the other vaccines in the race, including mRNA vaccines, such as the one developed by Moderna.

The level of immune response is what Gal appears to be taking issue with, saying that the immunised patients had lower responses than convalescent patients (i.e. patients who have actually had Covid-19), while mRNA vaccines appear to have better responses. 

Overall though, we'll have to wait till the next set of data. “Efficacy data will be out by September, these results suggest some efficacy is likely – let’s see how much (and for how long),” he concludes.

Read more at Endpoints News

Kenyans braced for another lockdown

Kenyans are bracing themselves for a fresh lockdown if governors convince President Uhuru Kenyatta to reintroduce restrictions to combat the soaring Covid-19 infections.

Already, some of the county chiefs have indicated they will implore the President to re-impose the lockdown if the alarming pace of the pandemic continues. The President has summoned the governors on Friday for the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Co-ordination Summit.

There has been a sharp surge of coronavirus cases across the country since the restrictions were eased on 6 July.

New measures in Uganda: 20:00 briefing

President Yoweri Museveni is expected to come out with new measures to help control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and also further ease the lock-down that’s been on in the country since March. His address is set for 8pm Tuesday.

Key among the issues he is expected to give guidelines on are the coming ‘scientific’ elections proposed by the Electoral Commission, with several parties now already involved in picking candidates to contest. President Museveni has himself picked forms to contest as Presidential Flagbearer and NRM party National Chairperson.

The other contentious issues in the gradual easing of the lock-down has been the opening of the arcades, travel restrictions, ban on boda bodas carrying passengers and the curfew.

Millions of children missing out on schooling - report

At least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on early childhood education in their critical pre-school year as COVID-19 shuttered childcare and early education facilities, according to a new research brief published today by UNICEF.

Produced by UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti, the research brief looks at the state of childcare and early childhood education globally and includes an analysis of the impact of widespread COVID-19 closures of these vital family services.

Out of 166 countries, less than half provide tuition-free pre-primary programmes of at least one year, dropping to just 15 per cent among low-income countries.

Many young children who remain at home do not get the play and early learning support they need for healthy development. In 54 low- and middle-income countries with recent data, around 40 per cent of children aged between 3 and 5 years old were not receiving social-emotional and cognitive stimulation from any adult in their household.

Uganda confirms three new Covid-19 cases

Uganda confirmed three new positive cases of Covid-19 infection on Tuesday. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 1,072 but the country has yet to suffer any deaths from the virus.

Mozambique

African Development Bank agrees $400M loan for Mozambique LNG project

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Tuesday that it has joined a global syndicate of banks and other financial institutions to provide financing for Mozambique's $20 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The regional development bank said it has concluded its bid to co-finance the project with a senior loan of $400 million. The Mozambique LNG Area 1 Project, estimated to cost more than $20 billion, is ranked Africa's single largest foreign direct investment to date. The project will consist of two LNG trains with a total capacity of around 13 million tons per year.

French energy major Total, the operator of the giant Mozambique LNG project, said on Friday it had signed a $14.9 billion senior debt agreement for the project, the biggest project financing ever in Africa.

south africa

South African government "has not committed to fund SAA rescue plan"

The South African government has not committed to fund the requirements of a restructuring plan for struggling South African Airways (SAA), Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in court papers seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Mboweni said a letter he and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan sent to SAA's administrators last week instead committed to 'mobilising funding' for the plan. Mboweni added in the court papers that potential options the government might explore to mobilise funds included approaching institutions for investment of pension funds, private equity partners or other strategic partners who might want to acquire a shareholding in a restructured SAA.

Nigerians unhappy with transport fares hike

Train fares for the Abuja to Kaduna service have been subjected to a 100% rise. The move has been criticised as being "unjust, unfair, soulless and insensitive" on the Nigerian public who are already suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ministry of Transport explained that price increases were necessary to cover costs because trains were running half full.

Yoweri Museveni

Uganda's Museveni picks up papers for re-election push

Uganda's long-serving President Yoweri Museveni has collected papers to seek nomination as the ruling party's candidate in next year's presidential election, the party said on Tuesday.

Securing a new term would potentially extend the 75-year-old Museveni's rule of the east African nation to four decades. "Yes, we can confirm he has picked nomination forms for our flagbearer position," Rogers Mulindwa, spokesman for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), told Reuters, adding that no-one else had yet shown up to contest him within the party.

Though no date has yet been fixed for the 2021 vote, it is typically held in February. The strongest opposition presidential aspirant is pop star and lawmaker Bobi Wine, 38, whose music endears him to the young. Critics complain Museveni has been using anti-coronavirus measures like bans on public gatherings to secure an advantage and stymie preparations by opponents.

Uganda has been relatively sheltered from the pandemic so far, with just 1,065 cases reported and no deaths.

Kenya's flower industry rebounds as lockdowns ease

Demand for Kenya's flowers has recovered to around 85% of pre-coronavirus levels as European markets open up after lockdowns, an industry body said, spurring hope that the industry could see a full rebound by next year.

Kenyan farmers were forced to throw away millions of roses in March as Europe sealed borders and residents put weddings and funerals on hold. But demand is coming back as restrictions ease and growers are hoping it will recover fully by next year, said Clement Tulezi, chief executive of the Kenya Flower Council.

Europe accounts for nearly 70% of Kenya's cut flower exports and coronavirus restrictions had slashed daily orders by half, threatening thousands of jobs in East Africa's richest economy. Kenyan farmer Inder Nain, whose company Xflora group used to export 350,000 roses a day, saw exports plunge to 50,000 a day in March. Now, that's rebounded to about 250,000, he said, and his 2,000 employees are back at work.  Growth is projected to slow to 2.5% this year from 5.4% last year. 

Advertisers Association says Ghana’s Covid-19 compaign lacks strategy

Osimhen’s record 80M move to Napoli hits setback

Victor Osimhen’s move from Lille to Napoli has been delayed while the player's image rights are being sorted out, The Punch reports. Osimhen will become the most expensive African signing in football history when the deal goes through, exceeding the price Arsenal paid for Nicolas Pepe last summer.

Refugees in Uganda displaced following food riots

The United Nations refugee agency has moved hundreds of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda to a safer location following violence that broke out over accusations of stolen food.

The violence escalated following an incident on 13 July when youths from the Nuer community allegedly stole maize from the farm of the Kuku community in Palorinya, Obongi district, northern Uganda. 

he U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has relocated 762 South Sudanese refugees due to fear of retaliation attacks. Eighty percent of these, according to the UNHCR, are children. 

Africa Covid-19 cases exceeds 721,000

Close to 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases were registered across Africa during the past 24 hours, with the overall number of such cases exceeding 721,000, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa said on Monday.

The overall number of Covid-19 cases in Africa currently stands at 721,187, with 57,539 cases confirmed during the past day. The number of coronavirus-associated deaths amounts to 15,166, with 780 fatalities registered during the day. As many as 382,000 patients have recovered.

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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 over 14.7 million cases and more than 609,000 deaths worldwide, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the latest World Health Organization count for Africa, there have been more than 721,000 cases in the continent, leading to approximately 15,00 fatalities.

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