Coronavirus Africa: news summary for Friday 7 August

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 7 August

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Africa Covid-19 update: 02:00 WAT on Saturday 8 August (03:00 CEST) 

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University19,282,972 cases have been detected worldwide, with 718,530 deaths and 11,671,491 people recovered.

South Africa: 545,476 cases / 9,909 deaths

Egypt: 95,147 cases / 4,971

Nigeria: 45,687 cases / 936 deaths

Jubilant worshippers return to Lagos mosques

(Reuters) In a crowded district of Lagos Island, 44-year-old Isiaka Babatunde weaves through a throng of people and stops at a shop piled high with hats. Wearing a green face mask and a crisply pressed traditional white suit, he carefully selects a matching white kufi cap on his way to join fellow Muslims at a mosque for the first time in four months in Nigeria's commercial capital.

"I am very happy today," Babatunde told Reuters. "We have been praying at home all this while due to the pandemic. There was nothing we could do about it."

Lagos state is allowing in-person religious services from Friday for the first time since it implemented a lockdown in March to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Services can be no more than 50% full, and only held once per week. 

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Geese walk in the main road in Val town as the country reaches its fifth month of lockdown due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Val, South Africa, 07 August 2020. The town is the smallest town in South Africa

World Bank approves $114m for Nigeria's Covid-19 response

The World Bank has approved $114 million to help Nigeria tackle its coronavirus pandemic, the global lender said on Friday.

The money comes in the form of a $100 million loan and a $14 million grant to be split between Nigeria's 36 states and federal-level procurement of medical equipment, tests and medicine.

Africa's most populous country has recorded more than 45,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 930 deaths, but low levels of testing have left a muddy picture of the outbreak's severity.

"Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, but more needs to done at the state level, which are at the front line of the response," Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank's director for Nigeria, said in its statement on Friday.

(Text: Reuters)

WHO sends experts to help South Africa in its battle with Covid-19

The World Health Organization has sent some of its experts on a mission to aid the worst-hit African nation in the coronavirus pandemic.

Full story:

Latest WHO figures for Africa: over 1m cases and 22,000 deaths

The World Health Organization has released its latest coronavirus figures for Africa, which show nearly 1,008,400 confirmed cases in the continent, leading to just under 22,100 deaths.

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SA hospitality workers protest against restrictions

Workers belonging to the hospitality industry hold candles outside a closed bar as they protest against the coronavirus lockdown regulations and job losses in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday.

(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Churches, mosques reopen in Lagos

Churches and mosques have been allowed to reopen in Lagos, Nigeria, having been closed for the past four months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Services will resume at 50% capacity.

Africa's health systems "could be overwhelmed" - ICRC

Patrick Youssef, the regional director for Africa of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has warned that African health services are in danger of being "overwhelmed" as coronavirus cases in the continent move past the one million mark.

"It took Africa nearly five months to hit 500,000 Covid-19 cases, but about a month to double that number,” Youssef said. “Most of these cases are in South Africa, but around the continent we are seeing the virus spread beyond capital cities and into new areas

“If measures against the virus are not followed, we fear that health care systems already weakened by conflict and violence could be overwhelmed by Covid-19." 

Naira Marley pleads guilty to lockdown violation

The Nigerian musician Naira Marley and his manager, Seyi Awouga, have pleaded guilty to violating lockdown restrictions when they travelled from Lagos to Abuja, the country’s capital, for a concert in June.

Marley and Awouga have each been fined 100,000 naira (approximately 220 euros) for the offence, a police statement said, per Channels Television.

Ten countries account for 80% of Africa's Covid-19 testing

(Reuters) Ten countries account for 80% of coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent.

Covid-19 confirmed cases have accelerated in Africa and hit one million on Thursday. 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, said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So far nearly nine million tests have been conducted across the continent, up 9.4% from last week's tally.

Two schools in Ondo closed for breaching Covid-19 rules

Two schools have been ordered to close by the Ondo State Government for violating the Covid-19 guidelines just two days after schools for graduating students were reopened. C.A.C Grammar School in Akure and the Akure Academy Secondary School in Oba Ile were closed after an inspection.

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Confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa pass 1 million

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa have risen fivefold during the the past two months and have more than doubled in July with over a million people now having contracted the virus. Approximately 22,000 people have died due to complications from Covid-19 across Africa although the true figures could be larger with some estimating numbers could be 10 or even 100 times greater.

South Africa,Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Algeria account for about 75% of all Covid-19 cases in Africa

Global Covid-19 cases pass 19 million

The total number of people who have contracted Covid-19 reached 19 million earlier today, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The total number of deaths from the virus worldwide is now over 714,000.

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 19 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), positive cases have now passed the million mark while over 21,000 people have died of the virus.

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