Africa surpasses a million coronavirus cases

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Coronavirus has now contaminated greater than a million folks in Africa, however hopes that the pandemic could also be peaking in some nations are additionally leavened by concern of a second wave.

Nations throughout the continent have recorded 1,000,054 infections and no less than 21,724 deaths, accounting for round 5 % of world cases, in keeping with an AFP tally as of Thursday.

Just 5 nations account for 75 % of all cases in Africa, the continent’s well being watchdog, the Africa Centres for Diseases Control, says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) mentioned Thursday some nations have not too long ago seen declines of round 20 % in every day cases but it surely was too early to substantiate this as a pattern, whereas round 10 nations are nonetheless experiencing will increase.

Countries with excessive infections relative to the scale of their populations are South Africa, Djibouti, Gabon, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe.

Here is an summary of key nations:

South Africa

The continent’s most industrialised financial system has notched up greater than 529,000 infections, 53 % of the continental caseload, and the fifth largest on the earth.

The excellent news is that numbers of every day infections have barely decreased in latest days to beneath 10,000 cases in comparison with a median 12,000 throughout a lot of July.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize mentioned on Tuesday that cases within the epicentre, the industrial hub of Gauteng province, gave the impression to be plateauing.

But he warned the chance of a second wave remained: “we are not out of the woods yet”.

South Africa imposed one of many world’s hardest lockdowns in March, together with a ban on gross sales of alcohol and cigarettes. The restrictions have been progressively eased since June.

The nation has a few of the greatest healthcare services on the continent, however the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week deployed 43 specialists to “strengthen” the nation’s response to the pandemic.

Among its issues: greater than 24,000 have been contaminated—a tally larger than the nationwide caseload of many different African nations.

Egypt

Egypt turned the primary African nation to report a coronavirus case on February 14. So far, it has formally registered the continent’s second highest variety of cases, with 95,000, together with 4,630 deaths.

Numbers of every day new infections have not too long ago been falling steadily. From a median of 1,500 beforehand, new cases plunged beneath 200 this week.

Jihane al-Assal, who heads the federal government’s anti-coronavirus scientific panel, instructed a TV discuss present “Egypt has passed the peak of the pandemic”.

At the weekend she introduced the gradual closure of isolation hospitals, whereas assuring that the federal government was “preparing” for a potential second wave of the pandemic.

However, the nation’s well being system has been severely strained and got here near “collapsing”, in keeping with the medical doctors’ union, which recorded no less than 134 deaths amongst its members because of COVID-19.

A curfew imposed in March was lifted on the finish of June.

Regular home and worldwide air visitors resumed on July 1 and tourism, a key revenue generator for the nation, is slowly choosing up.

Nigeria

Around 45,000 cases have been recorded in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, and greater than 900 deaths.

In June, the every day caseload rose by between 500 and 800 however latterly has dropped to between 300 and 400.

Authorities say they’re additionally gearing for a probably second wave as restrictions are eased.

“New rise in cases are to be expected,” mentioned the chief of the presidential process power on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.

Nigeria carries out solely 3,000 assessments per day, about a tenth of the quantity in South Africa, which has a a lot smaller inhabitants of 58 million.

The epicentre is the industrial hub of Lagos with a inhabitants of 20 million. The authorities are loosening lockdown restrictions, permitting church buildings and mosques to re-open.

Algeria

Algerians spent a bleak Eid el Adha competition underneath a strict lockdown that discouraged household visits and banned motion into or out of 29 of the nation’s 48 wilayas (prefectures).

The nation is the fifth worst-hit in Africa when it comes to infections—a surge up to now few weeks has introduced the whole to over 33,000.

Algeria has the continent’s third highest variety of fatalities at 1,273, after South Africa and Egypt.

The pandemic has taken a enormous toll on the nation’s financial system, which can also be dealing with the collapse of fossil-fuel costs.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, has seen a sharp upward pattern with infections doubling in lower than three weeks in July.

It has thus far recorded greater than 20,000 cases and over 365 deaths.

The figures are small relative to a inhabitants of 110 million, however the WHO frets unrest sparked by the killing of a pop star from the Oromo ethnic group may additional speed up transmission.

The upward spiral is coinciding with mounting indicators of virus fatigue.

Once-ubiquitous hand-washing stations have gotten scarcer.

Hitherto-empty eating places are filling up, and even some well being employees say they’re struggling to keep up the identical vigilance they’d in March.

Around three-quarters of all COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia are within the capital Addis Ababa.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is among the many nations the place every day infections are steadily rising: numbers of recognized cases doubled over 10 days final month and now stand at 4,200, together with 81 fatalities.

The impoverished nation is in a significantly precarious place.

The well being system is scuffling with shortages of fundamental medication and gear, in addition to an overburdened and underpaid employees.

Nurses countrywide have been on a go-slow for months demanding improved remuneration and coronavirus protecting gear. They have since been joined by senior and junior medical doctors.

Burying a minister who died from COVID-19, President Emmerson Mnanagwa pleaded with well being employees to behave responsibly, promising their grievances will likely be addressed however not “at the expense of the loss of lives”.

“When the pandemic spreads and the death toll rises there are no winners, none at all. We all die,” he mentioned.


Coronavirus infects 24,000 South African health workers


© 2020 AFP

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Africa surpasses a million coronavirus cases (2020, August 7)
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