Coronavirus Africa summary: cases, deaths and news - 1 August

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

Coronavirus Africa: live updates 1 August


Africa Covid-19 update: 02:00 WAT on Sunday 2 August (03:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University17,767,622 cases have been detected worldwide, with 682,931 deaths and 10,486,665 people recovered.

South Africa: 503,290 cases / 8,153 deaths

Egypt: 94,316 cases / 4,834

Nigeria: 43,151 cases / 879 deaths


Thank you for following us today. We've started a fresh live blog focused on Africa for Sunday 2 August.

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South Africa's Covid-19 cases surpass half a million

South Africa's confirmed cases of Covid-19 have crossed half a million, its health ministry said on Saturday, while cases in Africa as a whole approached a million. Africa's most industrialised nation recorded 10,107 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, pushing the total to 503,290, the ministry said.

Just over 3 million people have so far been tested for the virus in South Africa, which confirmed its first case five months ago, and 8,153 deaths have been recorded. Africa has recorded 934,558 cases, 19,752 deaths and 585,567 recoveries, according to a Reuters tally. South Africa imposed a nationwide lockdown at the end of March to curb the spread of the virus, but it has now eased many restrictions to boost economic activity - as have other countries across the continent, a large chunk of whose populations are poor and face hunger.

"The lockdown succeeded in delaying the spread of the virus by more than two months, preventing a sudden and uncontrolled increase in infections in late March," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a separate statement. As restrictions have eased, infections have spiked over the last two months. However, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilising, particularly in the worst-hit Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape provinces, Ramaphosa added. 

South Africa's Branden Grace tests positive for Covid-19

South Africa's Branden Grace has withdrawn from the Barracuda Championship prior to the third round after testing positive for Covid-19, the PGA Tour said on Saturday. Grace, who was tied for second place after two rounds at Tahoe Mountain Club in California, must now self-isolate for 10 days, which will rule him out of next week's PGA Championship.

"I felt great all week," said Grace. "Last night, I was tired and thought it had to do with the altitude. This morning, I notified the PGA Tour about my symptoms before going to the golf course. I wanted to get tested out of respect for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament. While it is unfortunate given my position on the leaderboard, the most important thing is our health."

The PGA Tour has implemented its response plan in consultation with medical experts, including working with those who may have had close contact with Grace. Grace's caddie tested negative for Covid-19 but will quarantine for 14 days in line with the Tour's health and safety protocols.

Lagos to allow places of worship to reopen

Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos will allow churches and mosques to resume in-person services from August 7, the state's governor said in a press briefing on Saturday.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also said restaurants, social clubs and recreational centres will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity from August 14 as the state, the epicentre of Nigeria's coronavirus outbreak, eases restrictions despite a continued rise in infections.

Lagos state, home to the megacity of the same name with 20 million people, has more than 15,000 confirmed cases and 192 deaths, by far the largest share of Nigeria's 43,151 cases. It ordered widespread closures and a lockdown in March to halt the spread of the highly infectious virus. The lockdown was eased in early May, but Sanwo-Olu scuppered plans to reopen churches and mosques in June, citing a continued rise in cases.

Houses of worship will only be allowed to open for services once a week at no more than 50% capacity. Sanwu-Olu also increased the limit on public gatherings from 20 to 50 people. Nightclubs, cinemas and some arcades will remain closed.

Golf courses reopen in Zambia

As lockdown restrictions are eased in Zambia amid the coronavirus crisis, some golf courses are now reopening in the African country.

SA feeding scheme

Eid al-Adha feeding scheme in South Africa

A woman walks away with her food handout during Eid al Adha at the 'Hunger Has No Religion' feeding scheme, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday. The local Muslim community spent the time they would have shared with family celebrating Eid al-Adha by feeding hundreds who are facing food insecurity due to the effects of the fifth month of pandemic lockdown. Food insecurity is one of the main issues facing the country since the start of coronavirus pandemic lockdown.


Covid-19 in Africa and the Middle East: situation report for week ending 1 August

More than 97,000 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the Middle East and North Africa during the past week, though many others are not recorded in the official figures.

Among the 20 countries monitored, Iran and Iraq are the worst affected — still reporting well over 2,000 new infections every day. Saudi Arabia and Israel averaged more than 1,500 a day during the past week.

Saudi Arabia’s epidemic appears to be subsiding, however, while Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Qatar have also reported substantial falls in new cases.

Across the region, a further 2,500 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded during the past week. Iran continues to report around 200 deaths a day, though in other countries the official figures are much lower.

Egypt reports lowest coronavirus daily figure since 3 May

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 yet made it to a “safe list” of countries for resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union. 

Tourism accounts for 5% of Egypt’s economic output, according to the government. The figure rises to as much as 15% if jobs indirectly related to the sector are included, analysts say.

Egypt Air cancels flights to Kuwait

The decision was taken following Kuwait banning flights to multiple countries – including Egypt, Iran, and Lebanon – to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced on Saturday.

A look into Nigeria

A daily Covid-19 situation reports provide a summary of the epidemiological situation & response activities in Nigeria.

Lastest figures from Gambia

There were 95 new cases of coronavirus detected in Gambia in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 498 cases. So far there have been only 9 deaths. The records indicate the the Gambia remains one of the least affected nations in Africa...

SA introduces measures to support businesses

The South African treasury has introduced a number of measures to support struggling businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. The OECD has predictes that the SA economy could contract as much as 8.2% this year due to the crisis.

Latest figures from South Africa


South African world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk positive

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that South African 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk has tested positive for Covid-19. Van Niekerk is in quarantine in Italy, where he's been training for the Triveneto Meeting.

Tanzania cancels plans to resume Kenya Airways flights

Tanzania has cancelled plans to allow Kenya Airway flights to the country in response to Kenya not allowing Tanzanians to enter its territory. Kenya has so far recorded 20,636 cases of coronavirus, while Tanzania has registered just 509.

Total cases in AU surpass 927,000

According to the latest tally, African Union member states have reported 927,661 cases and 19,650 deaths, while 580,399 people have recovered. Africa accounts for around 5% of the world's total caseload as things stand.

Kenya tourism industry ravaged by coronavirus

Reuters looks at the impact that the coronavirus has had on Kenya's tourism industry, which is one of the strongest in Africa. 

"I've been selling at the roadside since I was a teenager. In all my life, it has never been like this. There have always been tourists," peddler Loiman Letolot told Reuters.

"Now there are no tourists, there is no dollar and there is no food. If we didn't get these weekly handouts, we would not be able to eat."

Latest figure from Ethiopia

Ethiopia registered 915 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours to take its overall tally to 17,530, while it recorded 11 new deaths. In total, 274 people have died from the disease, while 6,950 have recovered. Tests have been carried out on 442,354 people.

Rhino poaching down by 50%

South Africa announced that the number of rhinos killed by poachers dropped by 53% in the first half of the year as the coronavirus outbreak limited the movement of people. South African is home to almost all the world's population of white rhinos.

Africa nears 1 million cases

Africa is nearing 1 million Covid-19 cases, with South Africa accounting for aroud half of the current figure. In just over three weeks, the number of confirmed cases on the continent almost doubled. Five countries account for about 75% of the cumulative Covid-19 cases – Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

Malawi latest figures

Malawi registered 97 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total caseload to 4,078. There were five new deaths, taking the overall toll to 114, while 1,875 people have recovered. So far, 30,267 tests have been carried out in the East African state.

Egypt reports lowest coronavirus daily figure since May 3

Egypt reported 321 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, the health ministry said, the lowest figure since May 3. In total, 94,078 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Egypt, of which 39,638 have recovered and 4,188 have died, including 31 on Friday, the ministry said in a statement late on Friday.

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 yet made it to a 'safe list' of countries for resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union. Tourism accounts for 5% of Egypt’s economic output, according to the government. The figure rises to as much as 15% if jobs indirectly related to the sector are included, analysts say. 

Good morning 

Good morning to our Coronavirus Africa live blog. We'll be bringing you updates on the coronavirus situation across the continent throughout the day. We start our feed this Friday morning, August 1, as worldwide cases near 17.6 million, while South Africa caseload remains the fifth largest globally with 493,183.