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Coronavirus Africa: news summary for 23 August

Members of Morocco's Interior Ministry Auxiliary Forces patrol a neighbourhood to enforce the reimposed lockdown due to a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, in the capital Rabat's district of Takadoum on August 17, 2020. (Photo by FADEL SENN

Coronavirus Africa live: latest news - 23 August


Africa Covid-19 update: 01:45 WAT on Monday 24 August (02:45 CEST)

Latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University.


Cases: 23,342,798
Deaths: 807,134
Recoveries: 15,056,101

South Africa

Cases: 609,773
Deaths: 13,059


Cases: 97,237
Deaths: 5,243


Cases: 51,905
Deaths: 997

Whistleblower lifts lid on winter tent deaths in South Africa

"Suspected Covid-19 patients were routinely left for hours in an open tent, in sub-zero temperatures, outside a South African hospital during the mid-winter peak of the pandemic, leading to "many" people dying of suspected hypothermia," says this exclusive report by the BBC, based on accounts by a doctor at Sebokeng Hospital. 

Convalescent plasma approval is "milestone" for Trump adminstration, says Health Secretary

Alex Azar, the 24th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, has issued a number of tweets in relation to the FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma:

"The @US_FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma is a milestone achievement in President Trump’s efforts to save lives from COVID-19." 

"The Trump Administration recognized the potential of convalescent plasma early on. Months ago, the @US_FDA, @BARDA, and private partners began work on making this product available across the country while continuing to evaluate data through clinical trials."

"Our work on convalescent plasma has delivered broader access to the product than is available in any other country and reached more than 70,000 American patients so far."

"We are deeply grateful to Americans who have already donated and encourage individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating convalescent plasma."

South Africa reports 72 deaths as daily new cases continue to drop

South Africa has reported  72 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 13,059. The is country continuing to witness a fall in the daily new cases figure, as the total number reached 609,773.

In a statement, Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize said, “11 deaths are from Eastern Cape, 41 from Gauteng, 12 from KwaZulu-Natal and 8 from Western Cape.” 

“The recoveries now stand at 506,470 which translates to a recovery rate of 83%," he added.

Africa cases near 1.2 million

With almost 1.2 million cases, Africa accounts for just 5.17% of the world's total caseload...

Ugandan prison closed after 153 inmates test positive

Ugandan authorities have shut down Amuru prison after 153 prisoners and one staff member tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday. 

“We agreed to shut down the prison for a period of 28 days to allow us spray the entire facility so that it can be used again,” COVID-19 district task force chairperson Osborn Geoffrey Oceng said (via CGTN Africa).

All inmates have been moved to Gulu Main Prison for treatment and quarantine.

Uganda has so far registered 2,263 confirmed cases, 20 deaths and 1,226 recoveries, with Amuru Districts being one of the country's hotspots for the virus. 

	People wear protective face masks as they stroll along a street in Nantes, western France on August 21, 2020, as face masks became compulsory in the city center and some areas to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP)

France reports post-lockdown daily record of 4,897 new COVID-19 cases

France reported 4,897 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Sunday, the highest daily level since the end of a two-month lockdown in May. Health Minister Olivier Veran warned earlier that the situation was risky, and said infections were essentially happening among 20 to 40 year-olds at parties.

Cases among older people were starting to rise too, Veran said, but he ruled out another total lockdown in France. Sunday's health ministry figures showed the number of people in hospital edged down by two to 4,709 from the previous day, however.

Three more people were registered in intensive care, taking that total to 383. Total coronavirus deaths rose by one in the past 24 hours to 30,513. The country has recorded a total of 242,899 infections.

Malawi: latest figures

Malawi has reported 32 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24-hour period, taking its total caseload to 5,414.

There were no new deaths recorded, so the figure remains at 168; while 3,012 Malawi residents have recovered from the disease.

After the pandemic, China-Africa relationship is crucial

Peter Kagwanja CEO, Africa Policy Institute, a regional think tank, said in a commentary published in the Sunday Nation that as the global Covid-19 crisis continues, promoting manufacturing and technological innovation is emerging as key to Africa's Covid-19 response and recovery.

"With the resurgence of isolationism, protectionism and shrinking resources for investment from Africa's traditional partners in the West, cooperation with China offers a common response and recovery strategy for African countries to combat Covid-19 while promoting manufacturing to roll back poverty, provide jobs and livelihoods," Kagwanja wrote.

He noted that rising economic nationalism, isolationism and protectionism in the West has made Africa’s cooperation with China even more urgent and pivotal.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on global trade

Nigeria's former Finance Minister speaks to CNN about the importance of global trade in helping the economy bounce back from the effects of the pandemic

Kenya records 246 new cases of Covid-19 with six deaths

The new cases were picked from 4,179 samples collected in the last 24 hours. This brings the cumulative tests in the country to 421,983.

Eight patients from the new cases are foreigners while the rest are Kenyans, whereby 157 are males while 89 are females.

The youngest in a one-year-old infant while the oldest is 87 years.

WHO offers seven tips to help prevent spread of Covid-19 

The World Health Organisation has developed a brief video in showing citizens how they can do their bit to avoid the virus from spreading.

89% of South African prisoners have made full recovery from Covid-19

Full story here 


Argentina joins Morocco and Peru in coronavirus vaccine trial

Argentina joined Peru, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates in approving Phase 3 clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said.

As China forges ahead in the global race to develop a vaccine to curb the Covid-19 pandemic and as cases within China dwindle, CNBG needs research participants from other countries for testing.

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


Covid-19 vaccine production

Russia expects to produce between 1.5 million and 2 million doses per month of its potential Covid-19 vaccine by the year end, gradually ramping up production to 6 million doses a month, the RIA news agency cited industry minister Denis Manturov as saying on Sunday.

Large-scale testing of the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya institute, is due to start in Russia next week.


U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo to visit Sudan in coming days, official says

Mike Pompeo is to visit Sudan in the coming days, a Sudanese government official said on Sunday.

Sudan has been normalising relations with the United States since the overthrow of former leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 but is still seeking removal from a list of countries the  U.S. considers as state sponsors of terrorism.

Pompeo is also due to visit Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday following an accord between the two countries this month to forge full relations.


West African mediators arrive in Mali seeking reversal of coup

Mediators from West Africa's regional bloc arrived in Mali on Saturday for talks aimed at reversing a coup that has been condemned abroad, but celebrated by many in a country battling an Islamist insurgency and simmering political unrest.

After three days of calm in the capital Bamako after Tuesday's ouster of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, police used tear gas on Saturday when a scuffle broke out between a group of 50 pro-Keita protesters and local residents who threw stones, an eyewitness told Reuters.


Ogun Taskforce outline coronavirus measures

Taskforce has commended the Victory Life Bible Church (VLBC) International, Abeokuta, Ogun State, for complying with COVID-19 safety measures

Full story via The Guardian Nigeria


Zamalek triumph in Cairo derby 

Third placed Zamalek surprised table toppers Al AHly in the Cairo derby placed in the Egyptian capital behind closed doors with a 3-1 win.

Covid-19 Africa update

The latest coronavirus cases from figures released by the World Health Organisation (Africa Region)

Zambian president fires central bank governor in surprise move

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Saturday summarily dismissed central bank governor Denny Kalyalya and replaced him with former deputy finance minister Christopher Mphanza Mvunga, a statement from State House said.

"President Lungu has terminated the contract of Bank of Zambia governor Dr Denny Kalyalya with immediate effect," said the statement, which did not provide reasons for the dismissal.

Kalyalya, who previously served as a World Bank executive director, was appointed in February 2015 and had his contract extended in 2018 until 2023.


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.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic


Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during 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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