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Coronavirus Africa summary: cases, deaths and news - 3 August

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a closed Toyota car dealership during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) nationwide lockdown in Cape Town, South Africa, April 28, 2020.   REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo  GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Monday 3 August


Africa Covid-19 update: 05:30 WAT on Tuesday 4 August (06:30 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University18,224,253 cases have been detected worldwide, with 692,679 deaths and 10,865,548 people recovered.

South Africa: 516,862 cases / 8,539 deaths

Egypt: 94,640 cases / 4,888

Nigeria: 44,129 cases / 896 deaths


Thank you for following our feed today. We have now created a new blog for news and updates across Tuesday 4 August.

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World facing 'generational catastrophe' on education - UN chief

Reuters reporting that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned today that the world is facing a "generational catastrophe" because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said that getting students safely back to the classroom must be "a top priority."

Guterres said that as of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, while at least 40 million children have missed out on pre-school.

"Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities," said Guterres as he launched a UN "Save our Future" campaign.

"Once local transmission of COVID-19 is under control, getting students back into schools and learning institutions as safely as possible must be a top priority," he said. "Consultation with parents, carers, teachers and young people is fundamental."

EAC nations must work together to beat Covid-19

The member states of the East African Community (EAC) must work together to beat the coronavirus and recover from the effects of the pandemic, says Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who is the current EAC chairperson.

In an interview with All Africa, Kagame said: "As chair of the East African Community, I have tried to rally the leaders of the partner states so that we can work together and benefit the region as a whole […].

“We stand a better chance, a very good chance of survival, and we'll be back to good health, good economies, and normal life if we work together."

Founded in 2001, the EAC comprises six nations: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.


Masked statues seek to inspire Nigerians to protect themselves

A statue of Obafemi Awolowo is seen with a mask on his face in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday, aimed at inspiring the population to protect themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist who, alongside other political figures, played a vital role in securing Nigeria's independence from Britain in 1960.

He died on 9 May 1987 in his hometown of Ikenne, southwest Nigeria.


Zambian economic situation "unsustainable"

The poor state of Zambia’s economy, which was been exacerbated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, has left the African country in an "unsustainable" financial situation, says John Paton, who is the CEO of the nation’s British Chamber of Commerce .

SAB cancels planned investment amid alcohol ban

South African Breweries (SAB) have opted to cancel $290 million of investments due to the financial impact of the coronavirus restrictions in the country, which have included a ban on the sale of alcohol.

Alcohol sales were imposed in South Africa in March, before being lifted at the start of June. However, the measure was then reinstated in mid-July, with the nation’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, explaining that it would ease the burden on the health system amid rising Covid-19 case numbers.

"The cancellation of this planned expenditure is a direct consequence of having lost 12 full trading weeks, which effectively equates to some 30% of SAB’s annual production," said SAB's vice-president of finance, Andrew Murray on Monday.

"It is like a pack of hyenas circling wounded prey"

South Africa’s president, Cyri Ramaphosa, has warned that "hyenas" guilty of corruption and profiteering amid the coronavirus pandemic “are going to be dealt with decisively and harshly”.

In his newsletter “From the desk of the president”, Ramaphosa wrote on Monday: "It is difficult to understand the utter lack of conscience that leads a businessperson who has heeded the call to provide lifesaving supplies during a devastating pandemic to inflate the price of a surgical mask by as much as 900%.

"Nor can one explain why a councillor would stockpile emergency food parcels meant for the poor for their own family, or why another councillor would divert water tankers en route to a needy community to their own home.

"It is impossible to discern what drives an entire family whose member stole funds meant for unemployed workers to go on a spending spree, buying cars, paying for renovations and beauty treatments, and even tombstones.

"Attempting to profit from a disaster that is claiming the lives of our people every day is the action of scavengers. It is like a pack of hyenas circling wounded prey."

Three Gambian ministers test positive for Covid-19

Three ministers in Gambia's government have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said, days after the West African nation's president went into self-isolation.

President Adama Barrow said last week he would self-isolate for two weeks after Vice President Isatou Touray tested positive.

Finance Minister Mambureh Njie, Petroleum and Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang and Agriculture Minister Amie Fabureh "have tested positive" for the virus, the presidency said in a tweet on Sunday.


Li-Meng Yan: coronavirus was developed in Chinese military lab


Li-Meng Yan: coronavirus was developed in Chinese military lab

The virologist, who claims she fled to the U.S. after receiving threats due to her research, has accused the Chinese military of creating Covid-19.

Algeria: change to the temporary ban on entry into Sweden

The Government has today decided on a change to the temporary ban on entry into Sweden. As a result of this change, residents of Algeria will no longer be exempted from the entry ban. Today’s decision is in line with the Council of the European Union's latest recommendation to EU Member States.

The temporary entry ban came into force on 19 March and initially applied for 30 days. It has subsequently been extended following European Commission recommendations. The latest decision to extend the ban means that the entry ban now applies until 31 August 2020.

WHO says there may never be a 'silver bullet' for Covid-19

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that while there were strong hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine, there might never be a 'silver bullet' for the coronavirus that has infected millions around the world.

'There is no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be,' director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news briefing from the U.N. body's headquarters in Geneva.

How to plan parties with loved ones, while keeping them safe

A look into maintaining the special and fun factor in virtual meetings and get togethers during the current pandemic.

South Africa plans to build coronavirus vaccine plant

“The aim is to get South Africa into a state of readiness to manufacture an approved Covid-19 vaccine locally.

“In anticipation of the huge demand, should a candidate vaccine be identified, manufacturing facilities will need to be established in different regions. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African continent region as a whole will need to be ready.”

In Kenya, alarm over rise in teen pregnancies during pandemic

Evelyne Opondo, senior Africa regional director at the Centre for Reproductive Rights, said evidence of an uptick in pregnancies directly linked to the pandemic was still "anecdotal".

However she believed the numbers are merely "the tip of the iceberg" as most girls do not seek proper ante-natal care.

She said teen pregnancies were likely increasing during the pandemic because girls were idle at home, or "engaging in relationships for survival".

Some children get free lunches or free sanitary towels at schools, which will remain closed until at least 2021.

Being home also places an added burden on parents who may have lost their jobs.

Nike cuts across 2020 themes

In case you haven't already seen it, the latest advert from the sports company captures many of the year's most impactful messages - including the pandemic - in a dream of an editing process.

Irony of decent funerals for rich as poor wail for respect

The virus, it seemed, did not care whether you were a wealthy Nairobi resident or a poor citizen trying to literally scratch off a living from the earth. Anyone could get it. And for a few short weeks, it looked like the gap that has constantly been expanding between Kenya’s rich and poor had been bridged.

Soon though, this emerged as just another wish. With time, the coronavirus has not only preyed on our inequalities, but it has magnified them at a time when the nation is most vulnerable.

Pandemic decimates livelihoods of Kenya's Maasai

For more than 50 years, Loiman Letolo, 70, has peddled her colourful beaded necklaces and bracelets to safari-goers at the entrance gates to Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve.

As the annual "Great Migration" of millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles into the Mara's vast savannah gets underway, Letolo would normally be earning $50 a day from the droves of  binocular-wielding tourists in their open-top jeeps.

The Covid-19 pandemic has, however, put a stop to that.

Read the full story

Africa and Middle East Covid-19 tracker

At least 13 deaths and 556 new infections were reported in Algeria over the past 24 hours, according to a statement by the Health Ministry.

The death toll in the country reached 1,223 and the number of cases climbed to 30,950, including 20,988 recoveries.

BioVyzr: the futuristic helmet to protect against Covid-19


BioVyzr: the futuristic helmet to protect against Covid-19

BioVyzr: the futuristic helmet to protect against Covid-19

As the world races to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 private companies are coming up with more and more innovative ideas to combat the spread of the virus. With the novel coronavirus now widely believed to be airborne, the use of face masks has become part of daily life and in many countries it has been made law to wear them in public spaces.

Taking that logic to the next level is Canadian company Vyzr Technologies, which has designed a futuristic helmet to protect against Covid-19.

WFP helping in Kenya

Ghana's fight against Covid-19 on course – President

President Akufo-Addo, who was addressing the Ashanti Regional leadership of the Muslim community, at the Kumasi Central Mosque, rallied the people to comply with the mandatory wearing of nose masks.

We are required as good citizens to always maintain personal hygiene, while observing all the Covid-19 preventive protocols for own good,” he noted.

The President said Ghana’s recovery and death rates in respect of the pandemic indicated that the government’s resolve to deal with the threat posed by the coronavirus disease was on course.

However, he said: “The citizenry should not take things for granted, but continue to do the right thing to enhance their wellbeing.”

South Africa's dire coronavirus situation taking much of the attention

Responding to the new figures, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on citizens to remain vigilant. 

"We have to continue to work together to reduce the number of new infections. As with many other countries across the world, we need to continually adjust the measures we take to prevent new outbreaks or to safeguard our health system", he said. 

South Africa imposed a strict lockdown in April and May that slowed the spread of the coronavirus.

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:

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

Ghana's health ministry reported 787 new coronavirus cases on Sunday

South Africa accounts for more than half of all coronavirus cases on the continent

Over 100 Nigerians evacuated from East Africa arrive home

Kenya Airways resumes international flights after virus curbs lifted

Ethiopian workers forced to return home, some with coronavirus

Lagos eases coronavirus lockdown, reopening churches and mosques

Africa Covid-19 update: 06:00 WAT on Monday 3 August (07:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University18,079,136 cases have been detected worldwide, with 689,347 deaths and 10,690,359 people recovered.

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

Egypt: 94,483 cases / 4,865

Nigeria: 43,841 cases / 888 deaths

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 surpass 18 million, while South Africa caseload remains the fifth largest globally with over 511,000.


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