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Coronavirus updates: Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana: summary 22 August

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Coronavirus Africa live: latest news - 22 August

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For the latest news relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, please follow Sunday's live coverage here.

Bill Gates sends reminder of malaria during pandemic

"Mosquitoes don’t practice social distancing. They don’t wear masks, either.

As Covid-19 spreads across the globe, it’s important to remember that the world’s deadliest animal hasn’t taken a break during this pandemic.

Mosquitoes are out biting every night, infecting millions of people with malaria—a disease that kills a child every other minute of every day."

Full story

Nigeria to bar entry for citizens of countries that block Nigerians

Minister Hadi Sirika told airline and travel industry representatives on a Zoom call late on Friday that a reciprocal ban on travel would apply to both airlines and citizens. 

“If they ban both the passengers and the carriers together, then that’s what’s going to happen,” Sirika said.

WHO says children aged 12 and over should wear masks like adults

The World Health Organization (WHO) said children aged 12 and over should wear masks to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic under the same conditions as adults, while children between six and 11 should wear them on a risk-based approach.

Children aged 12 and over should particularly wear a mask when a one-metre distance from others cannot be guaranteed and there is widespread transmission in the area, the WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a document on the WHO website dated 21 August. Whether children between six and 11 should wear masks depends on a number of factors, including the intensity of transmission in the area, the child's ability to use the mask, access to masks and adequate adult supervision, the two organisations said.

The potential impact on learning and psycho-social development, and the interactions the child has with people at high risk of developing serious illness, should also play a role. Children aged five years and under should not be required to wear masks based on the safety and overall interest of the child, the WHO and UNICEF said. Studies suggest older children potentially play a more active role in transmission of the new coronavirus than younger children, the WHO and UNICEF said, adding more data was needed to better understand the role of children and adolescents in the transmission of the virus, which causes Covid-19.

The WHO first advised people to wear masks in public on 5 June to help reduce the spread of the disease, but had previously not issued specific guidance for children.

1,300 migrants said to be in quarantine

At least 1,300 migrants who have returned to Ethiopia are currently completing their mandatory Covid-19 quarantine across the country, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Saturday.

More than 25,800 Ethiopian migrants have been flown back home since 1 April after losing their jobs abroad due to the pandemic, the IOM’s Ethiopia office said in a weekly update.

“Over 1,300 new returnee migrants were registered in the last week,” it said.

Editors' forum awards all SA journos for Covid-19 coverage

“Set against the backdrop of a country plagued with corruption and economic inequality, the coronavirus lockdown and a world in crisis, Sanef set out to lift the veil and bring to life the heroes that stand behind the headlines as we honour the media with the 2020 Nat Nakasa Award,” said Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase.

Journalists have continued to work every day, despite the risk of being infected themselves and also in some instances facing a precarious future. The industry has faced mass retrenchments, massive salary cuts and closure of media houses, she said.

Tour operators positive about post-Covid-19 future in Addis

The splendor and leisure activities at the newly completed tourism attraction sites in Addis that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initiated are game changers in increasing the number of tourist nights in the capital, Tour and Travel Agencies told The Ethiopian Herald.

Tourists conclude their visits in a day and most has been using the capital at just transit point, but the new destinations have surely opened a new chapter for tourists to stay for more nights in Addis, said Tour Operation Manager at Walk In Ethiopia Tour and Travel, Gahsaw Mehret.

At least tourists can stay for nights visiting and enjoying at the awe-inspiring sites, according to him. The projects are blessings to the city, he added.

School reopening committee to submit report on 21 September

The School Reopening Committee established to deliberate on modalities for the reopening of schools is expected to present a recommendation to the government on 21 September, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, the Director-General, Ghana Education Service (GES) announced.

The recommendation, Prof Opoku-Amankwa said would be submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make the final decision on the reopening of schools in the pre-tertiary sub-sector.

The Director-General announced on Friday in his opening remarks during a workshop on the GES Secondary Education Improvement Project in Larteh-Akuapem in the Eastern region.

Uganda records highest number of daily Covid-19 cases

Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that out of the new cases, 154 of them were recorded at Amuru Prison. 153 of the cases were inmates while one was a prison staff.

Aceng said an inmate at the prison was admitted to Gulu Referral Hospital after he exhibited Covid-19 like signs and symptoms. The inmate had since recovered and been discharged.

“In light of the above, the Ministry of Health undertook further investigations in Amuru Prisons. Out of the 205 inmates, 153 inmates tested positive. Out of the 28 prison staff, one tested positive for Covid-19,” Aceng said.

Aceng said all the other inmates who tested positive were transferred to Gulu Central Prison while the prison staff had been admitted to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

The inmates are currently being attended to by a combined team from Mulago National Referral Hospital and Gulu Regional Referral Hospital supporting the Uganda Prisons Services health team for appropriate management.”

Fred

Spanish Flu survivor passes away in South Africa

A 116-year-old survivor of the 1918 Spanish Flu believed to be among the world's oldest people died Saturday in South Africa, his family said. In this file photo taken on May 8, 2020 Fredie Blom enjoys a cigarette as he celebrates his 116th birthday at his home in Delft, near Cape Town. Possibly one of the oldest men in the world, Blom was born 8 May 1904, in the rural town of Adelaide, tucked near the Great Winterberg mountain range of South Africa's Eastern Cape province. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

leccy

A man walks beneath a web of illegally connected electricity wires, amid a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Soweto, south-west of Johannesburg. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa, India and Brazil face 'harshest' economic hit from the coronavirus, report finds

The G-20's "least-resilient" nations are set to face far worse economic consequences than wealthier ones in the aftermath of the pandemic, according to a report by global political risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

India, South Africa, and Brazil will experience the "harshest repercussions" as they attempt to recuperate economic losses this year, analysts David Wille and Joshua Cartwright wrote.

Latest Africa updates

Total cases on the continent have now passed the 1.15m mark but recovery rates remain high with over 880,000 people beating the virus. South Africa and Egypt combined still account for the vast majority of all reported Covid-19 cases in Africa.  

Gilead remdesivir study finds only marginal benefit for moderate Covid-19 patients

(Reuters) Moderately ill Covid-19 patients saw their condition improve after a 5-day course of Gilead Sciences Inc's remdesivir, but the drug did not significantly shorten hospital stays and a 10-day course did not show a benefit, according to new data.

The drug, which was shown in a trial of severely ill Covid-19 patients to shorten their hospital recovery time, has been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic.

The 600-patient analysis, published on Friday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that moderately ill patients treated with the antiviral drug for up to 5 days had significantly higher odds of improvement in certain areas, such as whether or not they needed supplemental oxygen, compared to patients given standard treatment.

Researchers said the clinical importance of the benefit for those patients was uncertain, however.

Nigeria planning to get 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines, says health minister

Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that his country is coordinating with global health organizations to get 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines, once a vaccine is available.

Kenyan doctors begin strike

Hundreds of medics in Kenyan public hospitals in Nairobi have called strike action. The doctors are demanding improved pay and better working conditions including more access to personal protective equipment (PPE) with the capital witnessing the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Ebola outbreak in western DR Congo hits 100 cases

The Ebola outbreak in western Democratic Republic of Congo has infected 100 people as of Friday, killing 43 of them, the World Health Organization said.

The latest outbreak of the virus was declared on June 1 in Mbandaka, a city of 1 million people on the River Congo, just before Congo declared the end of a previous outbreak in the east that had dragged on for two years.

Nigeria will bar entry for citizens of countries that block Nigerians - minister

Nigeria will bar entry to nationals of countries that do not allow Nigerians to enter amid the new coronavirus pandemic, the aviation minister said on Friday.

Nigeria is preparing to re-open its airports to international flights on Aug. 29, for the first time since March, and is developing the rules and protocols to enable the resumption.

Minister Hadi Sirika told airline and travel industry representatives on a Zoom call late on Friday that a reciprocal ban on travel would apply to both airlines and citizens.

"If they ban both the passengers and the carriers together, then that's what's going to happen," Sirika said.

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

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."

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

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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