Coronavirus live updates: Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana: summary 21 August

Coronavirus Africa live: latest news - 21 August

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For the latest news relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, please follow the new 22 August live coverage here.

South Africa cases surpass 600,000

South Africa has reported 3,398 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24-hour period to bring its total tally to 603,338. 

The Department of Health says 225 additional COVID-19 related deaths were recorded on Friday, bringing the total death toll in the country to 12 843.

WHO hopes coronavirus can be over in two years, Tedros says

The World Health Organization hopes the coronavirus crisis can be over in less than two years, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday. The Spanish flu that hit in 1918 took two years to end, he said.

"Our situation now with more technology, of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast," he said. "At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it."

Kenyan prison goes under total lockdown after 48 cases detected

A Kenyan prison in Kericho County has been ordered to go under full lockdown after 48 prisoners tested positive for coronavirus, according to local media reports (via CGTN Africa).

“We initiated mass testing in public facilities including the GK Prisons which has now emerged as one of the most hit facilities in the county,” the county governor, Paul Chepkwony, said in a statement.

Gov Chepkwony confirmed that all 48 inmates were asymptomatic, and added that "the Department of Health and the Prisons Management have put in place appropriate measures to curb the spread.”

picket

A worker gestures as members of South Africa's National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) picket outside the National Health Laboratories Service (NHLS) in Johannesburg on August 21, 2020, to demand better protective gear against the Covid-19 coronavirus, pay increases and risk allowance bonuses. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET / AFP)

South Africa updates for 20 August

South Africa recorded 3,880 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to the latest figures, taking the total number to almost 600,000. 

yoga

A yogi practices at the Earth Yoga Studio after the easing of restrictions of the national lockdown as a result of Covid-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The country moved to level 2 of the lockdown after it was implemented on 30 April 2020. Level 2 allows gyms and yoga studios to open after being closed for over five months. Many businesses could not survive the lockdown and closed. EFE/EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Doctors strike in Nairobi over pay, lack of Covid-19 protection

(Reuters) Doctors in most public hospitals in Kenya's capital went on strike on Friday to protest against delayed salaries and a lack of protective equipment when handling patients who may have Covid-19.

The strike began at midnight on Friday, said Thuranira Kaugiria, secretary general for the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union. He said 320 doctors employed by the Nairobi County government were taking part in the strike because they had inadequate health insurance, poor quality protective gear and too few isolation wards to treat Covid-19 patients.

The strike will not affect private hospitals and public hospitals within Nairobi run by the national government.

The Nigerian minister of aviation said flights from countries that have banned Nigerian carriers will be prevented from landing in the country.

Full story: 

ciggie

A man smokes a cigarette in Johannesburg after South Africa on August 18 loosened a nationwide lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease. The country had previously banned sales of alcohol and cigarettes to try and relieve the pressure on the country's hospitals. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Peru and Morocco to test China Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine in Phase 3 trial

Authorities in Peru and Morocco have approved Phase 3 clinical trials for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said late on Thursday on Chinese social media platform WeChat.

Phase 3 trials, which usually involve several thousand participants, allow researchers to gather data on the efficacy of potential vaccines for final regulatory approvals.

The experimental vaccine of CNBG, a unit of state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), has entered a Phase 3 trial in the United Arab Emirates that has already recruited 15,000 volunteers.

South Africa cases close to 600,000

South Africa is closing in on 600,000 cases after another 3,800 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed yesterday. The nation tops the cases tally in Africa and ranks fifth in the global cases ranking.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

Mali junta orders border re-opened after coup

The military junta in Mali that overthrew the president this week ordered the country's borders re-opened on Thursday, according to a statement read on state television.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), however, has instructed its members to keep their borders with Mali closed in response to Tuesday's coup.

Egypt

Egypt to re-open mosques on 28 August

Egypt has announced it will re-open mosques on August 28 after a five-month hiatus. Worshippers will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and bring their own prayer mats, while sermons will be restricted to 10 minutes.

Morocco may reimpose full lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge

Morocco could return to a complete coronavirus lockdown as cases continue to spike, Moroccan King Mohammed VI said on Thursday, warning of severe economic repercussions. The warning came as a jump in infections in the once bustling tourist hub of Marrakech strained health services and led to protests by medical staff in recent days.

New cases nationally have surged to more than 1,000 a day since Morocco lifted a strict three-month long lockdown in late June and hit a record high of 1,766 on 15 August. 

"If figures continue to increase, the Covid-19 Scientific Committee may recommend another lockdown, perhaps with even tighter restrictions," the King said in a speech. The deterioration of the health situation "does not leave much room for optimism," he said.

Good morning

Hello and welcome to AS' live coverage of the coronavirus in Africa. We'll be bringing you breaking news, reaction and the latest figures from the continent throughout the day, as well as the biggest coronavirus news from across the globe.

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