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Coronavirus Africa news summary for 12 August

A staff member holds a non-contact infrared thermometer outside a church in Lagos.

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Wednesday 12 August


Africa Covid-19 update: 03:00 WAT on Tuesday 11 August (04:00 CEST 12 August) 

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University


Cases: 20,550,481
Deaths: 748,348
Recoveries: 12,767,809

South Africa

Cases: 568,919
Deaths: 11,010


Cases: 95,963
Deaths: 5,085


Cases: 47,743 
Deaths: 956 

Adamawa government introduces remote classes for primary school pupils

Adamawa State Government has introduced radio/television classes for primary school pupils to help them keep up with their studies while schools remain closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Under the new arrangement, pupils are to take regular lessons via radio or television depending on their level and or subject.

Chairman of the state's Universal Basic Education Board, Salihi Ateequ, disclosed to journalists in Yola, the state capital, on Wednesday that the decision was to narrow the learning gap created by the outbreak of Coronavirus. "We believe this will help the kids recover the lost time occasioned by the outbreak of Coronavirus," he explained.

Uganda latest figures

Uganda has reported 19 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours to push its total tall to 1,322. 

“Of the nineteen confirmed cases, eleven are alerts, five are contacts to previously confirmed cases while three are truck drivers,” a statement from the Ministry of Health said (via CGTN Africa).

“Of the five contacts, four are from Kampala Metropolitan Area, and one is from Wakiso.”

German institute says Covid-19 vaccine could be available in autumn

Germany's leading infectious disease institute said on Wednesday a first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available as early as autumn but warned that it may take longer to control the pandemic.

"Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020," the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.

"It would be dangerous at this point to trust that a vaccination from autumn 2020 can control the pandemic," it cautioned. The impact of any vaccine could be tempered by viral mutations or by the resulting immunity only lasting a short time immunity, the institute added. (Reporting by Reuters)

SA to ease lockdown restrictions

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to loosen lockdown rules, including the possible scrapping of an alcohol sales ban, according to Bloomberg sources. 

“The measures that we have put in place have been working, and we are seeing a tapering off of the number of infections,” said Lungi Mtshali, a spokesman for the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ministry (via Bloomberg). “The numbers are going down, and regular assessments will be done to open up the economy when ready.”

Egypt warns of second wave

Egypt is bracing for a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, which has so infected more 95,000 people in the country, following a recent surge in cases. 

“We cannot say that we entered a second wave of the coronavirus because the current wave has not ended,” Presidential Health Adviser Muhammad Awad Tajuddin said (vía Arab News). 

“Case numbers have fallen, but there has been an increase over the past few days. We expected this because the same thing happened during Eid Al-Fitr due to large gatherings on coasts and beaches,” he added.

Nigeria records 423 new cases 

Nigeria has reported 423 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24-hour period along with six deaths, bringing the respective totals to 47,290 and 956. 

117 of the new cases were detected in the Lagos, with the rest in: FCT-40, Ondo-35, Rivers-28, Osun-24, Benue-21, Abia-19, Ogun-19, Ebonyi-18, Delta-17, Kwara-17, Kaduna-15, Anambra-14, Ekiti-11, Kano-9, Imo-6, Gombe-4, Oyo-3, Taraba-3, Bauchi-1 Edo-1 and Nasarawa-1. (via today.ng)

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Russia says medics to get anti-Covid-19 shots in two weeks, rejects safety concerns

Russia said on Wednesday the first batch of its Covid-19 vaccine would be ready for some medics within two weeks and rejected as "groundless" safety concerns aired by some experts over Moscow's rapid approval of the drug.

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing. The vaccine has not yet completed its final trials. Only about 10% of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety. (Reporting by Reuters)

South Africa considers easing lockdown to rescue economy

(Bloomberg) South Africa’s government is considering recommendations to further ease the coronavirus lockdown to help revive economic growth, the Sowetan reported, citing two people it didn’t identify.

Director-generals of state departments who met on Sunday implored the government to open up more economic sectors while strictly adhering to regulations on social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said Wednesday. The government may make an announcement on an easing this week, it said.

South Africa in the race for a vaccine

South Africa is taking its place in the race for a coronavirus vaccine by participating in two international trials for potential candidates, reports News24.

Speaking to Spotlight (vía News24), Dr Glenda Gray, president and CEO of the SA Medical Research Council, confirment that Johnson & Johnson and a Novavax will each trial a vaccine candidate in the country in September. 

South Africa was also where the first vaccine candidate was tested in Africa in June. Gray also called on scientests to put themselves forward as volunteers for vaccines. 

“We are all citizens of this country and we are all affected by Covid-19. Scientists need to roll up their sleeves in more ways than one. We are usually at one end of the needle and we are never at the shooting (receiving) end of the needle,” Gray said. 

Africa coronavirus updates

African Union Member States have now reported 1,057,599 cases of the novel coronavirus with 23,616 fatalities and 745,530 people recovered. The Southern region remains the hardest-hit in terms of total cases, accounting for more than half of the overall figure. 

Zambia faces being overwhelmed by Coronavirus, as citizens fail to follow regulations

Zambia's public health agency says the nation faces a huge surge in coronavirus cases because its citizens are not paying heed to government regulations. 

“The fight is still on. It is not just government fight. It requires the other side to respond as well,” Dr. Victor Mukonka, Director of the Zambia National Public Health Institute told journalists. 

Covid-19 cases rise in South Africa

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in South Africa rose by just over 2,500 on Tuesday. The total number of positive cases stands at 566,109 - up 2,511 on Monday with the death toll now at 10,751. The biggest spike was in Gauteng where new cases surged by 34.2%.

Angola to keep borders closed

Angola announced that its borders will remain closed in the fight to prevent coronavirus transmission in the country. Only Angolan nationals and foreign residents can return to the national territory, while foreign citizens may exit to return to their respective countries of origin. Official trips are also permitted. 

The measure, which became effective on 10 August and will run until 8 September, allows the entry and exit of cargo, goods, humanitarian aid and medical emergencies. 

Coronavirus live Africa updates: good morning

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 08:00 WAT had registered over 20.2 million cases and more than 740,000 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 are well passed the million mark while almost 23,000 people have died of the virus.