The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019. Cases have since been confirmed in over scores of countries across the globe.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a pandemic. WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus said whiles China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering country’s with weak systems.
With about 34 African countries currently with recorded cases, governments continue to roll out increasingly robust measures to halt the spread and to contain the pandemic which has claimed a number of lives.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.
In this article, we will share the latest developments as authorities implement measures to contain the spread of the virus, especially on the African continent. There is a flurry of restrictions across Africa as governments take measures to deal with the outbreak.
- South Africa, Nigeria record increases
- Mauritius records first cases
- Africa could be having unreported or underreported cases – WHO boss
- Zambia, Djibouti, Gambia record index cases
- Zimbabwe declares COVID-19 national crisis, outlines measures
- Ethiopia, Kenya record new cases
- Flurry of restrictions across the continent
- Nigeria, Rwanda, Burkina Faso record new cases
- Ethiopia – Ali Baba coronavirus support
- Ethiopia records jumbo figure in contact tracing
- Flights banned, borders closed
- Thirty African countries infected
Case spike in South Africa, increase in Nigeria
South Africa now has 150 confirmed cases, 24 more from the last tally of 126 according to the disease control outfit. The country is now the second most impacted only behind Egypt.
Over in Nigeria, four more cases have been recorded in the commercial capital Lagos, according to local media outlets. The overall toll will come to 11 with the new cases. Ghana has also reached 11 confirmed cases as of today.
Cameroon meanwhile has asked 198 passengers who arrived in the capital Yaoundé on an Air France plane flight on 17 March to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The appeal comes after three people on Air France flight number AF 900 tested positive for Covid-19. Cameroon now has 10 cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.
Mauritius infected, 16 death overall
Mauritius on Wednesday confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth who led a cabinet meeting on the pandemic late Wednesday said the three have been placed in isolation.
Two of the three cases involve cruise ship workers aged 21 and 25, while the third is a traveller from the UK aged 59. He said the government was tracing all the people the British traveller had come into contact with.
The government has closed all schools and borders points of the Indian Ocean island nation. It has also banned commercial flights and tourists for the next two weeks, beginning on Thursday, March 19.
Meanwhile the death toll in Africa has reached sixteen according to figures by WHO. Six each in Algeria and Egypt, Two in Morocco and one each in Sudan and Burkina Faso.
Africa could be underreporting figures
“You know as of today (March 18), the number of cases reported from sub-Saharan Africa are 233 cases and four deaths, that is actually in terms of confirmed cases, it is the lowest region.
“But as Mike said, we cannot take this number as the amount of, or the number of cases we have in Africa, probably we have undetected cases or unreported cases. But in addition to that, even if we take this 233 cases as true, we have to prepare for the worst.
“In other countries we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point. So the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today. It is actually better if these numbers are really true, to cut it from the bud.
“And that is why we are saying we have to do the testing, we have to do the contact tracing, we have to do the isolation and cut it from the bud,” the words of Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
He was speaking on Wednesday March 18 in the WHO’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
He stressed the need for mass gatherings to be avoided because of the propensity of aiding quick spread of the virus. “I think Africa should wake up, I think my continent should wake up,” he added.