Pandemic worsening in Djibouti

New cases, recoveries, deaths

Djibouti today reported another surge in Covid-19 infections, announcing 156 new confirmed cases and bringing its total to 591, including 73 recoveries and two deaths. The authorities noted that the pandemic is worsening in Djibouti and urged people who persist in being lax about the government recommendations on hygiene and social distancing, to take them seriously.

Cote d’Ivoire yesterday reported 16 new Covid-19 cases, bringing its total to 656 as of 15 April, with 146 recoveries and six deaths. Today the secretary-general of the presidency, Patrick Achi announced that he had contracted the virus.

Senegal has registered 21 new Covid-19 cases, raising the total to 335.

Mali’s health authorities today reported 23 new Covid-19 cases raising the total to 171, including 34 recoveries and 13 deaths. The new cases include the first Covid-19 infection detected in northern Mali.

Meanwhile, Chinese medical experts arrived in Ethiopia to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cape Verde announced 45 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 56. In a communique, the government authorities said samples had been collected from a group of hotel employees, who had been quarantined at the Karamboa Hotel, Boa Vista Island, in the eastern part of the archipelago.

Mozambique has announced one new case of Covid-19 raising its total number to 29.

Burkina Faso’s health authorities have announced that 49 patients have recovered from Covid-19. Fourteen new cases were also registered on 14 April, raising the total to 542.

Botswana has confirmed two new cases of Covid-19 bringing total to 15. One of the new cases is male police officer who had travelled to the UK for training.

The number of recorded Covid-19 cases in Sierra Leone now stands at 13, following the confirmation of three news cases on 15 April.

Ghana has recorded an additional five new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 641. The west African country has recorded 83 recoveries and eight fatalities.

Namibia recorded 16 coronavirus cases with four recoveries.

The number of Covid-19 infections in Nigeria has increased by 34, bringing the total to 407. One hundred and twenty eight people have recovered, while 12 have succumbed to the disease.

Nine more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kenya, bringing the national tally to 234. The total number of recoveries is still at 53, while the death toll has risen to 11.

One more case of Covid-19 has been reported in eSwatini, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 17. Eight people have recovered from the disease with one fatality.

The number of people infected with Covid-19 in Zimbabwe has risen to 23 after five more people tested positive in Bulawayo. Three people have succumbed to the virus.

Sierra Leone cases have increased to 15 after two more cases were recorded today.


De-crowding of prisons

Cameroon’s Paul Biya orders de-crowding of prisons to combat Covid-19 epidemic

He also granted a commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment for persons initially sentenced to death, as well as remission and commutation of sentences to a category of prisoners. The decree excludes persons jailed for evasion, second time offenders, persons found guilty of acts of state destabilisation, embezzlement of state funds, and fraud in competitive examinations. Excluded from the order are are also political prisoners such as vice president of the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement Party, Mamadou Mota, and separatists fighting for the independence of the English-speaking minority in the country. Others excluded include those found guilty of trafficking in narcotics and weapons, people found guilty of torture, rape, sexual offences and paedophilia.

Authorities in Lakes State in South Sudan’s central region on 13 April temporarily released 143 prisoners with minor crimes to combat the spread of the Covid-19 disease in jails. They said the decision was taken to reduce congestion in Rumbek prison. The inmates were released for 30 days and would have an opportunity to resolve the issues for their imprisonment. If they were required to pay one cow, they could go and pay it, and if they were required to pay a fine, they could pay the money to the government.  Failing that, they will be put in prison again after the 30 days.


Solar-powered locally made hand washing machine patented in Ghana

The Ghana Standards Authority has granted a product certification for the solar-powered automated hand washing machine invented by Ghanaian Richard Kwarteng to encourage safe hand-washing practices. The product enables people to wash their hands under running water without touching the tap.

In another development, families in Ghana are reluctant to hold private burials, opting instead to leave the bodies of their loved ones in the morgue, and awaiting a lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. Private burials in Ghana are rare. Funerals are typically large, and bodies can remain the morgue for weeks or even months on end, as elaborate funeral arrangements are made. Morticians are now worried that they are being forced to work in conditions that put them at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. They are appealing for mortuaries to be decongested.


South Africans brew their own alcohol at home

A blanket ban on alcohol sales and supplies is making South African residents turn their homes into mini-breweries, making traditional sorghum beer, pineapple ale and apple cider, among others. There have been calls for the government to lift or relax the restriction that bars the buying, selling, or transportation of  alcohol. The government says it is looking into the requests.


Assistance

The World Bank is set to release 14m US dollars towards Niger’s fight against Covid-19. So far the west African nation has recorded a total of 584 cases.


Covid-19 Responses

Ethiopia has resumed cross-country public transport service, which was suspended due to coronavirus outbreak. Following the outbreak, four regional states – Tigray, Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional States imposed a ban on all cross-country and inter-city public transportation as part of a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. As a consequence, the whole country was on standstill.

John Garang Infectious Disease Center in South Sudan’s capital Juba is under renovation and will be turned into a national coronavirus isolation unit. The units, eight in total,  will serve as a quarantine and treatment centres for  coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, Sudan announced that  22,000 policemen will be deployed in Khartoum to enforce a full lockdown that will start on Saturday 18 April.


Crime rates drop in Namibia during Covid-19 lockdown

Crime rates have dropped significantly in Namibia since the national state of emergency. According to police statistics, crimes recorded during the week of 16 to 22 March, before the lockdowns started, stood at 216 reported incidents, with 101 suspects arrested.

This dropped to 152 reported crimes during the week of 30 March to 5 April, right after the Khomas and Erongo lockdowns were implemented on 27 March. Last week (6 April to 12 April), 124 incidents were reported, while 87 suspects were arrested.