Coronavirus Africa summary: cases, deaths and news - 2 August

Coronavirus Africa: live updates 2 August

Africa Covid-19 update: 02:30 WAT on Monday 3 August (03:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University17,965,567 cases have been detected worldwide, with 687,072 deaths and 10,634,582 people recovered.

South Africa: 511,485 cases / 8,366 deaths

Egypt: 94,483 cases / 4,865

Nigeria: 43,841 cases / 888 deaths

Scroll through some of the recent coronavirus-related articles:

FRESH FEED

Thank you for following us today. We have created a new blog for Monday 3 August which you can join here.

Ogun State Government slated for asking school children to pay for Covid-19 test

The Ogun State Government has been criticised for obliging secondary school students to pay N25,000 each for their own Covid-19 test - a requisite before they are allowed to return to class. Graduating students are expected back at school ahead of their examinations on Tuesday but the state government said only students who have been certified free of Covid-19 will be allowed onto school premises. Attempts by parents to get their children tested for free on Sunday failed as they were asked to pay N25,000 per child, according to Sahara Reporters.

Nearly 800 new coronavirus cases in Ghana

Ghana's health ministry reported 787 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the country's total count to 37,014. No new deaths were added to the Ghanaian death toll of 182. 

Africa cases approaching one million

South Africa accounts for more than half of all coronavirus cases on the continent with the country reporting its 500,000th case on Saturday. 

Canadian company Vyzr has designed a type of diving helmet that purifies air and has N95 filters to protect the wearer from Covid-19 and other diseases.

SA

Women receive bread at a food handout during the Eid al Adha at the 'Hunger Has No Religion' feeding scheme, in Johannesburg. 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 lockdown. Food insecurity is one of the main issues facing the country since the start of the nationwide shut down. EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Li-Meng Yan, a virologist who fled to the US, has claimed that China deliberately withheld information and that Covid-19 is not a naturally occurring virus.

Over 100 Nigerians evacuated from East Africa arrive home

About 117 Nigerians evacuated from Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania after being stranded following the outbreak of Coronavirus, arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Sunday morning aboard Azman Air flight.

The returnees are expected to embark on a compulsory 14-day isolation period in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control protocol on Coronavirus.

Kenya Airways resumes international flights after virus curbs lifted

“We announced we are starting with 27 destinations, we increased it to 30 just following demand,” Allan Kilavuka, the airline’s chief executive officer, said during a ceremony ahead of seeing off a flight to London. 

He said for the rest of the year the airline expected demand to remain below 50% of capacity, but it would increase flight frequencies depending on demand. 

“In fact 2020, we call it a lost year. Because at some point we even see demand of 25% in some months, in some months we see 38%,” he later told Reuters.

Ethiopian workers forced to return home, some with coronavirus

Unemployed and shunned as possible coronavirus carriers, Ethiopian migrant laborers are returning home by the thousands, placing a huge strain on Ethiopia’s poorly equipped medical system.

More than 30,000 workers have re-entered Ethiopia since mid-March, according to the government, some of them after suffering abuse and detention in unhealthy conditions in the countries they left, often on the Persian Gulf or in other parts of Africa.

At least 927 migrant laborers were infected with the virus when they returned, Ethiopian officials say, but the true number is probably much higher. The government has not updated that figure for more than a month, and it does not include those who have slipped back into the country unnoticed.

Community based psychosocial support to children

Mary Tor Gatluak volunteers as a social worker in Kule Refugee Camp, in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia.

Breastfeeding advice during the pandemic

Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding. 

Skilled counselling services can ensure that mothers and families receive this support, along with the information, the advice, and the reassurance they need to nourish their babies optimally. Breastfeeding counselling can help mothers to build confidence while respecting their individual circumstances and choices. Counselling can empower women to overcome challenges and prevent feeding and care practices that may interfere with optimal breastfeeding, such as the provision of unnecessary liquids, foods, and breastmilk substitutes to infants and young children.

Lagos eases coronavirus lockdown, reopening churches and mosques

The governor of Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos said on Saturday churches and mosques would reopen next week as the authorities move to ease the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

“Places of worship in Lagos will now be opened from Friday, the 7th of August for our Muslim worshippers, and on Sunday, the 9th of August for our Christian worshippers,” Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement.

But the numbers of worshippers will be limited as a measure to prevent further infections.

Full story

President Ramaphosa slams corruption allegations related to Covid-19 tenders

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described as unconscionable officials who allegedly use the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, to unlawfully enrich themselves.

This after Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku, and his wife Loyiso Masuku, went on a leave of absence this week amid a scandal over alleged irregularities relating to a R125 million personal protective equipment (PPEs) tender. The tender was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects, a company owned by Diko’s husband King Madzikane II Diko.

In a statement, President Ramaphosa says law enforcement agencies have been empowered to investigate allegations of corruption.

Egypt's Orthodox Church announces procedures on gradual reopening of churches

The Coptic Orthodox Church announced the procedures of gradual reopening of churches as of Monday after their closure on 21 March over the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the gradual reopening, masses, prayers and funerals will be held as of Monday with the presence of one person per a desk amid the adoption of all preventive measures.

The masses can be performed every day except for Fridays, while the gradual reopening will continue in case the infection cases and deaths are on decrease, the statement added. 

WHO warns of drawn out pandemic

Six months after the WHO declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally. 

South Africa is by far the hardest hit country in Africa, accounting for more than half of diagnosed infections, although President Cyril Ramaphosa said the fatality rate is lower than the global average. 

Malawi president addresses nation

President Lazarus Chakwera updated the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said a lot of Malawians have lost jobs, businesses are not making any progress, school calendar has been disturbed and even online training is not working because not many Malawians can afford.

Read the rest of the thread:

Bauchi records 19 new cases, infection hits 560

The Bauchi State Task Force on Covid-19 and Lassa Fever, says it has recorded 19 new cases of coronavirus in the state.

Dr Rilwanu Mohammed,  Chairman of the Contact Tracing Sub Committee stated this in an update issued to journalists on Saturday in Bauchi.

Covid-19 catch-up

Here is a selection of some of the coronavirus-related stories that have been making the headlines over the last 24 hours:

South Africa's confirmed cases of Covid-19 have crossed half a million, while cases in Africa as a whole approached a million

South Africa's Branden Grace has withdrawn from the Barracuda Championship prior to the third round after testing positive for Covid-19

Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos will allow churches and mosques to resume in-person services from 7 August

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

South Africa’s National Treasury asked lawmakers to extend tax-relief measures for businesses

Africa coronavirus live blog: welcome 

Good morning to our coronavirus Africa live blog. We'll be bringing you updates on the pandemic situation across the continent throughout the day.

We start our feed this Sunday morning as worldwide cases near 17.8 million, while South Africa caseload remains the fifth largest globally with over 500,000.

.