Coronavirus Africa news summary: Thursday 13 August
Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Thursday 13 August
Africa Covid-19 update: 01:30 WAT on Friday 14 August (02:30 CEST)
Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University
Are there any countries that have zero cases of Covid-19?
There are currently 12 countries that are claiming not to have had a single Covid-19 case.
Federated States of Micronesia
The last 10 on the list are all isolated islands who were probably able to stop cases coming in.
North Korea thought it did have one case, but it turned out not to be, although the probability it has not actually had any cases is very slim given its proximity to China - although the country is very isolated people do cross the border.
The general consensus of experts is that Turkmenistan is being rather economical with the truth in its claims it has no Covid-19 cases.
Global death count over 750,000
According to figures from John Hopkins University the global death count from Covid-19 is now over three-quarters of a million. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, since then it has infected people in nearly every country on Earth in the worst pandemic since the H1N1 flu outbreak of 1918.
Latest figures from Gambia
Active cases: 1246New cases: 79
New tests: 184
Total confirmed: 1,556
France reports new post-lockdown peak in daily COVID-19 cases
The French health ministry reported 2,669 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Thursday, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the second day in a row and taking the country's cumulative total of cases to 209,365.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 1,962, a total that has doubled over the last two weeks and is at levels not seen since the end of April. (Reporting by Reuters)
South Africa planning "building boom" - Bloomberg
South Africa is planning a major infrastructure drive to help its ailing economy recover from the coronavirus crisis, reports Bloomberg. The plan will be partly funded by green bonds.
“When South Africa was hit by the Covid-19 health crisis, it was already in the midst of a deep economic crisis,” the government said in a presentation (via Bloomberg).
“The Economic Reconstruction, Recovery and Growth Plan has two aims: to deal with immediate actions towards economic recovery amid Covid-19 and to rebuild and grow the economy.”
Children wait outside the school gate while wearing protective clothing due to the coronavirus pandemic in Johannesburg. The Street Light School primary school in downtown Johannesburg has continued to operate during the pandemic with strict preventive measures at the school including feet and hand sterilization, compulsory face masks and shields and sterilization of all surfaces in the school. The school has been built almost entirely from reusable materials. EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK
Global death toll passes 750,000
The worldwide coronavirus death toll has passed the 750,000 mark, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. As of 15:30 WAT on Thursday, 750,371 people had died of Covid-19, JHU said.
The United States, the world’s worst-affected country, has suffered the most fatalities, with 166,118 Covid-19 patients dying from the disease. The US is followed by Brazil - the only other nation to have registered more than 100,000 deaths - where there have been 104,201 fatalities.
Seven African countries to start testing for Covid-19 antibodies
Seven African countries will start administering coronavirus antibody tests from next week, a regional body said on Thursday, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent.
"Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it," said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Addis Ababa.
Western governments are using antibody tests to find out how many of their citizens have been infected, in the hope that will help them reopen their economies.
Africa has so far conducted 9.4 million coronavirus tests, a 10% increase over last week, Nkengasong said. These tests show whether people currently have Covid-19.
The continent's relative isolation has so far spared it the worst of the pandemic, but low levels of testing in many countries mean Africa's infection rates are likely to be higher than reported, experts say.
WHO Africa numbers update: 1.07m cases, just under 24,300 deaths
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest daily update on the coronavirus figures in Africa, released just before 11:30 WAT, there have now been 1,074,568 cases in the continent, leading to 24,282 deaths.
Football fans watch on from home as SA football returns
The South African football season returned from suspension at the weekend with the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup, before the Premier Soccer League also resumed on Tuesday.
With games being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, football fan Brian Khuzwayo told Africa News that while he welcomes the return of the beautiful game in South Africa, nothing beats experiencing the buzz of a packed stadium on matchday.
"It kind of took away the look and feel of the League," he said. "Because, you know, you have to be there to feel the atmosphere, to feel, the vibe."
Over 450 Kenyan health officials have contracted Covid-19
In the wake of the death of leading Kenyan health official Kamau Mugena, the BBC reports that more than 450 people in the African country's health ministry have now been infected with the coronavirus. The broadcaster adds that Mugena is the fourth frontline healthcare worker in Kenya to die of Covid-19.
Leading Kenyan health official dies of Covid-19
One of Kenya’s top health officials, Kamau Mugena, was to be buried on Wednesday after dying of Covid-19. Mugena, who was corporate affairs director at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the body responsible for managing coronavirus testing in the Africa country, reportedly died on 9 August.
“He is to be buried today and our sincere condolences are extended to family and friends of the late Kamau Mugenda and all those who have lost their loved ones,” Mercy Mwangangi, the Kenyan ministry of health’s chief administrative secretary, told a press conference on Wednesday, per Citizen TV Kenya.
Kenya has registered 28,104 coronavirus cases and 456 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus live Africa updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 07:30 WAT had registered just over 20.6m cases and nearly 750,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In Africa, there have been nearly 1.07m cases and just under 24,000 fatalities, says the most recent continental update by the WHO.