Africa had 54,434 confirmed cases of coronavirus this Friday. The Covid-19 has already claimed the lives of 2,080 people on the continent, according to the African Union Center for Disease Prevention and Control. South Africa and Egypt are the two most affected countries, with 8,232 and 7,981 cases respectively. Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon follow.
Coronavirus could cost the lives of more than 190,000 people in Africa in just a year if preventive measures fail, according to a new study by the World Health Organization. In total, 44 million people could be infected. ” The Covid-19 could return to our lives regularly in the coming years if governments in the region do not engage in a proactive approach. We need to test, trace, isolate, treat Says the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.
- Terrorist groups in Sahel profit from pandemic, UN says
In a report released on Friday, Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, said that ” terrorist groups take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to intensify their attacks In the Sahel region. The United Nations points in particular to the area of the three borders, between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
” The dire situation in the Sahel region is further exacerbated by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, with terrorist groups exploiting it for propaganda and action purposes, with a potentially serious impact on the region “Insists the secretary general of the UN.
- DRC partially reopens border post with Zambia
As of this Friday, the Kasumbalesa border post in the DRC, crossing point to Zambia, will be reopened for pedestrians. On the other hand, they must respect the barrier measures: wearing a mask, taking the temperature and social distancing. Protesters on Thursday protested the closure of all borders, decided on March 20 by President Félix Tshisekedi. ” As Kasumbalesa is largely dependent on products from southern African countries and also from Zambia, the population has difficulty living “Explained Mayor André Kapampa. The reopening of a passage between the two countries must also make it possible to avoid clandestine crossings, ” who can import the disease to us “, he added.
In addition, Congolese deputies voted this Thursday in favor of the extension of the state of health emergency in the country for another 15 days. The measure entered into force in the DRC on March 24, and had already been extended during the month of April.
- Cyril Ramaphosa will release 19 000 detainees from South Africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Friday the release under judicial control of 19,000 detainees, ” so as to make isolation and social distancing possible ” A total of 160,000 prisoners are incarcerated in 243 prison centers across the country. Some foci of spread of Covid-19 have occurred in prisons, including that of East London, where 65 detainees and 35 guards tested positive for coronavirus.
The measure applies to prisoners who ” are low risk and have already completed part of their sentence “Says the press release from the presidency. Those convicted or charged with murder, sexual crimes and violence against women and children are not affected.
# COVID19 | This dispensation excludes inmates sentenced to life imprisonment or serving terms for specified other serious crimes, including sexual offences, murder and attempted murder, gender based violence and child abuse.
Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) May 8, 2020
South Africa is far from having passed the peak of the epidemic. Cyril Ramaphosa warned his fellow citizens this week: according to him, the hardest part is yet to come. Because doctors and scientists agree that the health crisis is far from over. Authorities have so far managed to curb the rapid spread of the virus, thanks to very strict measures. But in the past week, the curve of new infections has accelerated with 300 new cases per day.
- ECOWAS denies placing an order for Covid-Organics
The West African regional organization distances itself from Covid-Organics, this Madagascan artemisia-based decoction presented as a remedy for coronavirus. She claims to have never ordered the treatment. ” We wish to indicate that ECOWAS and its specialized health institution, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), dissociate themselves from this assertion, and inform the public that we have never ordered the said drug “, Read a press release.
Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina announced last week that he had delivered a shipment of Covid-Organics to the President of Guinea-Bissau to distribute the controversial remedy to the 15 member countries of ECOWAS.
- Truck drivers can once again travel between Cameroon and the Central African Republic
End of the blockage at the border between Cameroon and the Central African Republic. The circulation of goods trucks on the Douala-Bangui corridor has gradually resumed over the past 48 hours. Last week, Cameroonian truck drivers had stopped work after the positive screening of several of them at the entrance of the Central African capital. Their care had caused a great panic. To unblock the circulation of this strategic axis for supplying Bangui in particular, the authorities of the two countries have set up a screening system on both sides of the border.
- Niger extends the isolation of its capital
Nigerian authorities extend the isolation of Niamey for two weeks from Sunday April 10. The capital has been isolated from the rest of the country since March 28 and the start of the state of health emergency in the country. To date, Niger has recorded 781 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 42 deaths.
- Denis Sassou-Nguesso rejects requests to release political detainees
In Congo-Brazzaville, human rights organizations have called for the release of political prisoners in order to unclog prisons and thereby limit the spread of the coronavirus. These calls also concern opponents of the regime André Okombi Salissa and Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, both unhappy candidates for the 2016 presidential election and imprisoned for several years.
Head of State Denis Sassou-Nguesso rejected this request for release in an interview this Thursday on RFI and France 24. He said the two men were not convicted because they were political figures, but because they had committed ordinary crimes. Jean-Philippe Esseau, Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko’s lawyer, rejects this argument. ” The alleged offense is a breach of the internal security of the state. So it’s a political offense and not a common law offense “, He says. According to his lawyer, Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko should be released in order to protect him from possible contamination by the coronavirus. ” The sanitary conditions of the prison do not allow the general, who served this country with dignity, to be kept in detention. For humanitarian and health reasons, we should release him “, He assures.
- 10 employees of the governor of Lagos tested positive
In Nigeria, 20 employees working at Lagos State House, the official residence of the Lagos state governor, tested positive for coronavirus. According to the state’s health commissioner, the sick have been placed in quarantine centers for treatment. He assures that the governor and his wife, however, were not infected.
- Relaxation of restrictions in South Sudan
The South Sudanese authorities have decided to relax existing measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Shops and restaurants are allowed to reopen from this Friday, but traders must enforce social distancing measures for their customers. The curfew now starts at 10 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., and motorcycle taxis can also resume their activity.
In addition, 85 detained children have been released in order to limit prison overcrowding in the country. 11 others remain prisoners. ” Prison facilities in South Sudan are overcrowded, with very limited access to sanitation, care and food. With the risk of spreading Covid-19, the best way to protect children is to return them to their families “Explains Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF representative in South Sudan.
- Kenyans protest demolitions of homes during pandemic
In the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, protesters blocked one of the city’s main arteries to protest the demolition of their homes earlier this week. Fires were started in several parts of the city, and clashes with the police broke out.
Traffic flow on Outering Road was interrupted on Friday morning as Kariobangi North residents held protests following their eviction on Monday from property said to belong to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company. https://t.co/l3jN7ezGUP pic.twitter.com/YlHOqhqxA4
TheStarKenya (@TheStarKenya) May 8, 2020
Hundreds of families were dislodged by law enforcement on Monday. Many associations have denounced the government’s decision to allow the demolition of these homes, when the population is called upon to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus on the territory.
- Sudanese emergency committee recommends extension of containment in Khartoum
The Sudan Coronavirus Emergency Committee recommends extending the containment of the capital for another 10 days. Officially, the containment of Khartoum is scheduled to end this Sunday. Sudanese authorities have decided to place the capital, the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus epidemic, in solitary confinement on April 18. Sudan currently registers 930 confirmed cases and 52 deaths.
- NGOs denounce series of amendments that extend powers of President al-Sissi
” President Sissi’s government uses pandemic to extend, not reform, abusive emergency law in Egypt “Denounced in a Human Rights Watch press release. Human rights NGO refers to series of ratified amendments by President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi and published in the Official Journal Thursday evening. These new measures allow the head of state to close schools, suspend public services, ban public and private gatherings and place travelers entering the country under quarantine.
The military prosecutor will also be allowed to assist the prosecution in investigating crimes reported by the armed forces responsible for law enforcement under the state of emergency. ” Using national security and public order as justification reflects the security mindset that governs Sisi’s Egypt Said the deputy director for North Africa and the Middle East to Human Rights Watch in the statement.
- Tanzanian police warn opposition MPs
Police in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam have asked opposition MPs to come to the police station for interrogation. At issue: the boycott of parliamentary sessions since last week by members of the Chadema party. The boycott was decided for fear of the coronavirus after the deaths of three MPs, although the latter were not officially linked to Covid-19.
Earlier in the week, the Speaker of the Parliament threatened to sue the opposition, saying the boycott of the sessions represents theft, as the MPs keep their salaries. The regional commissioner of Dar es Salaam for his part issued an ultimatum to parliamentarians: he gives them 24 hours to leave the city before arresting them.
- South African breweries fear having to throw millions of liters of beer
Breweries in South Africa appeal to the authorities for help: 130 million liters of beer could be thrown away if the ban on alcohol is not lifted in the coming days. Because since March 23 and the start of confinement in the country, the SAB (South African Brewery) had to stop all its activities. The company also warned that it could lay off half of its employees, or 2,000 people, if the bottling and distribution of beers cannot resume.
The Senegal this Friday recorded a 14th death linked to Covid-19: an 85-year-old man died in Touba. The country registers to date 1,551 positive cases
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