Coronavirus Africa: news summary for 6 August 2020

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

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Thursday 6 August

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 01:00 WAT on Friday 7 August (02:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University18,982,658 cases have been detected worldwide, with 712,266 deaths and 11,477,834 people recovered.

South Africa: 538,184 cases / 9,604 deaths

Egypt: 95,006 cases / 4,951

Nigeria: 45,244 cases / 930 deaths

Morocco weighs $2 billion in bond sales as virus sparks rethink

Morocco is considering sovereign bond sales of about $2 billion in late September as the coronavirus prompts it to increase its reliance on international debt markets, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The kingdom is pondering one issuance of 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) and another of $1 billion, each with a maturity of at least five years, the people said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

The new Eurobond will either roll over or be used to redeem a previous issue that matures in early October, while the dollar-denominated sale will be used to build up the North African nation’s foreign-currency reserves, they said.

Egypt's daily cases stay below 200 for fifth day in a row

Egypt's health ministry said in a statement on Thursday that it recorded 131 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections nationwide to 95,006 cases since the detection of the first case on 14 February.

This is the fifth consecutive day for the health ministry to register coronavirus infections less than the 200 cases. For the first time since April, Egypt’s daily toll of coronavirus cases dropped below 200 this week, with the daily toll hovering between 110-170 cases since Sunday.

Letting off steam in lockdown 

Had it up to here with your boss, your partner, the lockdown? Throw an axe to get it all out. 'Axe Rage Rooms' are all the er, rage in Jordan as people seek release during the pandemic. While you're at it, have a smashing time with TVs, plates and electronics as well, in this cathartic form of entertainment at a time when theatres and sports venues are closed.

Do it with family, friends or colleagues to celebrate or mourn an event like a birthday, wedding, divorce or your sports team's outcome in a tournament. 'We're used to throwing darts at targets to get points. But the idea of throwing an axe at the same target is quite new,' said Nour Mohaib, wearing a helmet with a face shield to enjoy her new therapeutic pastime. 'This is a great way to spend your surplus energy.'

The AXE rage room entertainment centre in Amman features five themed experiences, such as classrooms and kitchens. '(F)ulfil your darkest pleasures of smashing things up by a baseball bat, or throwing dishes to the wall rather than washing them, or destroy the whole office electronics with your co-workers... like a team for once rather than shouting at each other in boring meetings,' says its website. Safety rules must be followed and players must sign a waiver of liability.

'No one can enter the area where the axes are thrown, and there's safety gear for the face and the eyes,' said founder and director Aladdin Attari. The cost is 15 Jordanian dinars ($21) per person to smash an unlimited supply of items for an hour, which is 'more than enough for most people,' a customer service representative said by phone.

Coronavirus cases in Africa surpass 1 million

Africa has reached the grim milestone of 1 million registered coronavirus cases as of 10pm on August 6, with South Africa accounting for more than half of that figure (529,877).

Egypt and Nigeria remain the second and third worst affected countries on the continent, respectively (see figures above).

Many experts agree that Africa's real toll is far higher, due to a large number of undetected cases, predicting a “slow burn” of the pandemic on the continent, reports AFP. 

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In pictures: A worker of the hospitality industry carries a mock coffin outside a closed bar during a protest against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown regulations and job losses in Cape Town, South Africa, August 6, 2020. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

Ten countries account for 80% of new Covid-19 case, says regional body

SA to launch corruption probe

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a committtes to investigate alleged corruption linked to the nation's coronavirus response. 

“We need to deal with corruption,” Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said in an online briefing. “The government is committed to action being taken by all the law enforcement agencies."

Nigeria to reopen for international air travel in weeks

Nigeria will reopen for international air travel in a matter of weeks, the aviation minister said on Thursday, without giving a specific date for the resumption after months of closure due to the global coronavirus pandemic. "It will be in weeks rather than in months," Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika told a regular briefing in the capital Abuja on coronavirus.

Nigeria began to close its airports in March, a month after Africa's most populous country confirmed its first coronavirus case. Domestic air travel restarted last month. The country has 44,890 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 900 deaths, figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control show. (reporting by Reuters).

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In pictures: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa April 24, 2020. (Jerome Delay/Pool via REUTERS.)

Togo coronavirus cases surpass 1,000

Togo reported 13 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing its total tally to 1,001. The West African nation has far recorded 21 deaths since the pandemic began, with 690 people having recovered. 

Djibril Mohaman, the National Coordinator for COVID-19 response, said Togo is experiencing new outbreaks in the central and northern regions and warned of an increase in cases over the coming fortnight. 

“Over the coming two weeks, there will be an increase in confirmed cases after the monitoring of the contacts,’’ he said.

volunteer

A volunteer wears a smling mask as she waits to sanitize people's hands during the weekly feeding scheme at the Heritage Baptist Church amid the coronavirus emergency lockdown in Melville, Johannesburg. Volunteers from the Viva Foundation have been helping feed around 500 people per week at the church. Food insecurity remains a pressing issue in South Africa amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

80% of Africa's coronavirus testing done by 10 countries, says CDC chief

Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, the continent's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent.

Covid-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported.

Some governments across the continent are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out widespread testing, while others are reluctant to share data or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny.

South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius have each conducted more than 200,000 tests, John Nkengasong, head of the Africa CDC, told a virtual news conference.

So far nearly 9 million tests have been conducted across the continent, up 9.4% from last week's tally.

(Text: Reuters)

SA funeral parlours overwhelmed amid pandemic

Funeral parlours in South Africa have been forced to take measures to deal with the high number of bodies they are receiving amid the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports, with one undertaker telling the agency that he has had to use a shipping container that would normally hold chilled goods.

Monageng Legae revealed to Reuters that he oversaw 85 and 75 funerals in June and July, respectively, when that number is usually around 30.

Ghana's Ministry of Aviation denies borders opening next week

The Ghanaian Ministry of Aviation has refuted rumours claiming that the country's borders, which were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will re-open next week.

Full story:

South Africa feeding scheme Johannesburg

Feeding scheme in Johannesburg amid pandemic

People wait in line during the weekly feeding scheme at the Heritage Baptist Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday - the 125th day of a coronavirus emergency lockdown in the country.

Volunteers from the Viva Foundation have been helping feed around 500 people per week at the church. Food insecurity remains a pressing issue in South Africa amid the ongoing pandemic and a recent spike in cases.

(Photo: EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK)

Africa CDC head expresses Tanzania concern

The head of the Africa Centre for Disease Control, Dr John Nkengasong, has told the BBC that there is not enough data coming out of Tanzania to know how the coronavirus is being dealt with in the country.

We continue to hope and plead that Tanzania could come forth and report the situation as it is so that we can work collaboratively to stem this virus out of the continent," Nkengasong said.

"We continue to reach out [to Tanzania] but we are not having the response that we expect," he said.

According to Johns Hopkins University, which bases its figures on officially reported data, there have been 509 confirmed coronavirus cases in Tanzania, with 21 deaths.

457 new coronavirus cases in Nigeria

Another 30 days of emergency in Mozambique

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has declared another 30 days of emergency in a bid to tackle the coronavirus, and has outlined a plan for the phased easing of restrictions in the country.

“We believe that our next steps are based on two fundamental lines of action,” Nyusi told a televised address on Wednesday, per CGTN. “The first is the maintenance of COVID-19 prevention and control measures; the second is to guarantee that social and economic life follows its normal course.”

Mozambique’s government has planned a reopening process in three stages, with the first coming into effect on 18 August. Phases two and three are to be introduced in September and in October, respectively.

There have been 2,079 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, leading to 15 deaths.

Gambia imposes curfew as cases rise 60% in a week

Gambia, mainland Africa's smallest country, imposed a three-week curfew on Wednesday after coronavirus cases surged over 60% in the last seven days to nearly 800.

Authorities attributed the rise to people relaxing their guard on protective measures that had so far kept Gambia's case total the lowest in Africa. Testing has also increased in the country, where the number of deaths is 16.

A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will go into effect on Thursday, public gatherings will be banned and markets will have to close by 2 p.m., government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh told the national broadcaster.

(Text: Reuters)

Coronavirus live Africa updates: good morning

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 07:30 WAT had registered over 18.8 million cases and nearly 708,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In Africa, according to the latest update by the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been over 978,000 cases and 21,000 deaths.

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