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Coronavirus Africa news summary: Friday 14 August

Johannesburg (South Africa), 13/08/2020.- Children stand in their social distancing squares after arriving at school while wearing protective clothing in the form of masks and face shields as part of their safety due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic,

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - Friday 14 August


Africa Covid-19 update: 00:45 WAT on Saturday 15 August (01:45 CEST) 

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University


Cases: 21,038,816
Deaths: 761,393
Recoveries: 13,096,934

South Africa

Cases: 579,140
Deaths: 11,556


Cases: 96,220
Deaths: 5,124


Cases: 48,116
Deaths: 966

South Africa latest figures

South Africa has reported 6,275 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24-hour period, bringing its total caselod to 579,140. The Department of Health says 286 more people have died from coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total death toll in the country to 11,556.

WHO calls for African governments to step up preparation efforts

Crime rates plummet in South Africa

One of the positive outcomes of the coronavirus crisis in South Africa has been the falling crime rates, as the BBC reports. Crime in South Africa dropped by up to 40% during the first three months of its lockdown, official figures show...

WHO chooses 7 countries for antibody testing

France reports yet another new post-lockdown peak in daily COVID-19 cases

The French health ministry reported 2,846 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Friday, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the third day in a row and taking the country's cumulative total of cases to 212,211.

The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 2,041, doubling over the last two weeks, and going beyond the 2,000 threshold for the first time since April 20. 

Latest figures: Malawi

Malawi has reported 76 new cases of coronavirus, brining its total tally to 4,988. There have been three more deaths, taking the the death toll to 156, while 2,576 people have recovered. 

Africa: latest figures

The continent of Africa has now seen 1,089,894 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection, of which 24,752 have died, while 784,402 have died. South Africa has reported almost 4,000 new cases  in the past 24 hours, a lower figure than in past weeks, but a total that takes the number of coronavirus infections to 572,865, more than half that of the whole of Africa, with 11,270 deaths. 

Africa case figures update

There have been over one million confirmed cases on the continent with almost 25,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. South Africa continues to be the worst-affected country, accounting for almost half of all deaths in Africa. 

Coronavirus plays role in Ivorian earning first pro football contract

Ivorian striker Tobi Junior has signed his first professional football contract at the age of 25, having been helped by the coronavirus in his pursuit of a soccer career.

Junior, who has been in China since moving there to study in 2014, has joined Jiangxi Liansheng, a club in the Asian nation’s second tier.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began in the city of Wuhan, he resisted the temptation to leave the country, he told AFP - and, amid reduced competition for contracts, bagged his deal with Liansheng.

"Everybody was running away from China so my family and some other people told me to leave," he says. "I said, 'No, I'm not going anywhere."

With travel restrictions preventing Chinese clubs from bringing in other overseas players, Junior was "in the right place at the right time" to win a contract, AFP says.

Hospitality industry unhappy with SA alcohol ban 

Rwanda minister on country's use of robots, drones

Rwanda’s ICT and innovation minister, Paula Inagbire, has spoken to CNN about the role of technology in the country’s fight to curb the spread of the coronavirus, with robots being employed to monitor Covid-19 patients and drones used to broadcast government safety advice and ensure measures such as social distancing are observed.

Discussing Rwanda’s use of drones, Inagbire said: "The alternative would be to have actual humans on the road, in the communities […]. We’ve had extensive discussions across the government trying to see what’s the most effective and efficient way to respond to this, and in many ways technology has been a response to that."

Asked about the use of robots, she said: "All out frontline health workers are at risk when they’re dealing with the pandemic, so the more we can reduce that [exposure] the better off we are as a population […]. If we are able to make sure the doctors are focusing on the critical work and then the routine work is done by robots, I think it’s a gain for us."

Cases rise in Madagascar as president touts herbal 'cure'

Coronavirus cases in Madagascar have quadrupled over the past month, the BBC reports, as President Andry Rajoelina continues to tout a herbal remedy as a Covid-19 cure in the face of warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO has cautioned against using untested remedies such as the herbal drink, which is called Covid-Organics and is made from the anti-malarial plant artemisia. 

The BBC’s report notes that the drink has been provided to children at school in Madagascar during the pandemic, which has now led to just over 13,500 cases and 162 deaths in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University.

SA school preventive measures

Children wearing face masks and shields as safety measures against Covid-19 wait outside the school gate in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday.

The Street Light primary school in downtown Johannesburg has continued to operate during the pandemic with strict preventive measures including feet and hand sterilization, compulsory face masks and shields and sterilization of all surfaces in the school.


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.

(Text: Reuters)

Coronavirus live Africa updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, Africa-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which as of 07:45 WAT on Friday had registered over 20.9m cases and nearly 760,000 deaths worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In Africa, states the WHO's most recent continental update, there have been approximately 1.07m cases, leading to just under 24,300 fatalities.


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