Covid-19 Africa roundup: Guinea about to run out of testing kits

Covid-19 cases in Africa rise

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa has reached 13,145, with 700 deaths and 2,171 recoveries reported across the continent, according to data compiled by the African Union’s Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC).

Niger has confirmed 38 new cases, bringing to 448 people the number of people affected by the virus. The country has carried out tests on 1,692 people. Forty-one people have recovered and 386 are receiving treatment, according to Actu Niger website.

In Cameroon, the Ministry of Health has reported 17 new cases. The number of cases in the country has hit 820. The government has also announced that 37 people, all passengers of the Air France flight of 17 March, have recovered. This brings to 97 the total number of people who have recovered.

Burkina Faso has confirmed that 146 people have recovered. The country has so far reported 448 cases, including 26 deaths.

Eritrea has confirmed another case, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 34.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has confirmed its third death from coronavirus. As at today, there were 65 cases and four recoveries.

Sudan’s federal Ministry of Health has announced two new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 19.

South Sudan on Friday 10 April announced a new confirmed case, raising its total number of cases to four.

Two more cases of Covid-19 has been reported in eSwatini, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 12.

Cases in Malawi now stand at nine after another one confirmed.

Two more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Zimbabwe raising the current tally to 13.

In Nigeria the numbers have gone up to 305 after 17 new cases were registered yesterday.

Cote d’Ivoire has so far reported 480 cases of Covid-19. On 10 April, 36 new cases were reported, according to the Ministry of Health.

Five new patients tested positive for Covid-19 in Rwanda on 10 April out of 1,036 tests carried out during the last 24 hours bringing the number of cases to 118. Seven people recovered and have been discharged.

Kenya has recorded two more positive cases, bringing the tally to 191. Two more people have recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 24.

Guinean authorities have announced two new cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 38. Three patients have recovered.

DR Congo reported eight new infections today, bringing the total number of cases to 223 since the beginning of the pandemic on 10 March 2020. The eight cases were reported in the capital Kinshasa. Sixteen people have recovered so far.

Guinea’s National Health Safety Agency said yesterday that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country rose from 194 in 221 within a span of 24 hours. Two hundred and six of the cases are under treatment while 15 patients fully recovered fronm the disease.

Among the new infections is that of Sekou Kourouma, the secretary general of the government. He becomes the third Guinean government official to test positive. The other two are Moustapha Naite, the Minister of Public Works and Damantang Camara, the Minister of Security and Civil Protection.

Senegal recorded 13 new infections today, raising the number of cases to 278. According to the Ministry of Health and Social Action, 15 patients also recovered from the disease bringing the total number of recoveries to 152. There have been only two Covid-19 related deaths to date.

And on a positive note, Namibia has not reported any new cases since 6 April when the tally stood at 16. Updating the nation today, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Utjiua Muinjangue also said three people had recovered, while 13 were still active. She also said 61 people had been released from quarantine facilities.


Government responses and measures

Angolan minister of health Silvia Lutucuta has announced the arrival of 257 medical practitioners and over 30 tonnes of medical supplies from Cuba to support the fight against Covid-19.

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has said “at the national level, every effort will be made to ensure that local textile companies, whether large, medium or small, including qualified tailors can produce millions of masks locally for the benefit of the population. “Then, a special fund of 100bn francs [166m USD] for the most vulnerable families will be set up in Mali’s 703 municipalities,” the president added. In his message broadcast by state TV ORTM, the head of state said he will give up three months of his salary to contribute to the fight against Covid-19.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Revenue and the Customs Commission have jointly donated food and clothing worth over 1.4 billion birr (about 42m USD) to nine regional states, two administration cities and 26 charity organisation.

And the Addis Ababa city administration has announced that it will start door-to-door check-up of coronavirus starting next week. The administration has also established 1,200 food banks to provide food help to the needy.

The Mauritian prime minister has announced that the lockdown in the country will be extended to 4 May. Mauritius has 318 registered cases, with 23 cured and nine deaths.

In Guinea, President Alpha Conde has announced the creation of a scientific council for the response to the coronavirus pandemic, Guineenews website has reported. The president has set attributions, organisation and functioning of this council, which will be operational until the end of the disease in Guinea. According to the decree, this advisory body will be made up of 17 members including national experts from several fields.

The Senegalese government has announced the confinement of the capital, Dakar, in a bid to contain the virus that has already affected. Security and defence forces have been dispatched in public areas to ensure that the confinement measures are respected.

Ghana has summoned the Chinese ambassador over reports of “inhumane treatment meted out to Ghanaians and other African nationals in China in relation to the coronavirus pandemic”. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey condemned the reports and said a formal communication from the government of Ghana would be issued within the next 24 hours.

The US is to give Zimbabwe 150,000 to support people living with HIV who might be infected by Covid-19, Zifm Stereo has reported. There are more than 1.4 million living with HIV, with 1.2 million on antiretroviral therapy. Zimbabwe also received 35.4 million pounds sterling from the UK government to support the country’s Covid-19 response programmes. Two additional confirmed cases now bring the total to 13 cases and three deaths.

Guinean health officials say they will discontinue testing for Covid-19 due to the unavailability of testing kits. According to the National Health Safety Agency, the stock available to the agency is running out and the few kits remaining have only been reserved for the follow-up of patients and for suspicious cases.

Nigeria says the Chinese experts who arrived in the country on Wednesday and who have been at the centre of a raging controversy will begin scientific engagement with the experts in a few days via video conferencing, while still in quarantine.


Evacuations and arrivals

Over 2,000 Nigerians abroad have registered for evacuation on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of them reside in the US, UK, China and the United Arab Emirates. They will compulsorily be quarantined on arrival, which they will have to pay for.

Meanwhile, hundreds of foreign nationals trapped in South Africa continue to leave as governments negotiate repatriation flights. Over the last one week, as many as 10 flights have left departed om the Cape Town International Airport to take hundreds of tourists stranded in the province due to the nationwide lockdown.


Crime

Gabonese authorities will replace the police with the army to enforce the lockdown in the Greater Libreville region set to begin on Monday 13 April, Gabonactu has reported. The country will be under a lockdown for 15 days. The police were reportedly relieved of their duties due to errant behaviour, such as imposing imaginary taxes on businessmen and small-scale traders. The army is said to be more credible.

In South Africa, crimes targeting schools are spiralling with over 110 of them in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga burgled and torched since the lockdown started a fortnight ago. A number of liquor stores have also been broken into. The lockdown has banned the sale and transportation of liquor.