Coronavirus cases in South Africa rise to 202

Coronavirus cases in South Africa rise to 202
outh African Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirms the first case of Coronavirus in South Africa at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, March 5, 2020. Reuters/ Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

In Summary

Coronavirus cases in Africa 
  • Egypt 256
  • South Africa 202
  • Algeria 90
  • Morocco 66
  • Tunisia 54
  • Burkina Faso 40
  • Senegal 38
  • Cameroon 20
  • DRC 18
  • Ghana 16
  • Nigeria 12
  • Rwanda 11
  • Ivory Coast 9
  • Ethiopia 9
  • Togo 9
  • Kenya 7
  • Equatorial Guinea 6
  • Tanzania 6
  • Gabon 3
  • CAR 3
  • Congo 3
  • Namibia 3
  • Sudan 2
  • Benin 2
  • Guinea 2
  • Liberia 2
  • Zambia 2
  • Countries with one coronavirus case are Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Gambia, Niger, Somalia and Eswatini
Source: Worldometers, March 20, 2020

South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Friday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen by 52 to 202, with the first cases recorded in the Free State province.

The virus has multiplied in Africa more slowly than in Asia or Europe, but the number of cases has started to rise more rapidly in South Africa in recent days.

In Egypt, registered cases of the COVID-19 disease as of Thursday were 256, including seven deaths: the Government said 42 people recovered after receiving treatment.

Algeria has so far reported 90 cases, according to the Worldometer website, which has been a primary source for internet users about the latest updates on the coronavirus.

Other countries include Morocco (66), Tunisia (54), Burkina Faso (40), Senegal (38), Cameroon (20), Democratic Republic of Congo (18), Ghana (16), Nigeria (12) and Rwanda (11).

Those that reported less than 10 cases were Ivory Coast (9), Ethiopia (9), Togo (9), Kenya (7), Equatorial Guinea (6), Tanzania (6), Gabon (3), CAR (3), Congo (3), Namibia (3), Sudan (2), Benin (2), Guinea (2), Liberia (2) and Zambia (2).

Countries with one coronavirus case are Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Gambia, Niger, Somalia and Eswatini.

The virus has infected more than 250,000 people globally and killed over 10,000: however, slightly over 89,000 have however recovered.

A growing number of governments are announcing increasingly restrictive measures to try to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

They have shut borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.

On Wednesday, Uganda banned religious gatherings and weddings, despite not having a single coronavirus case. South Africa strongly encouraged restaurants and bars to provide take-out services only.

Sierra Leone, despite not having a reported infection, banned gatherings of more than 100 people on Monday. Markets that draw thousands of people were exempt.

“We don’t have this virus here yet, so why should we stop?” said Abacha soap vendor Adama Jalloh, as a baby dozed against the back of her traditional print dress.

“Even during Ebola time we were able to sell,” she said, referring to a deadly outbreak that killed thousands in West Africa in 2013-16.

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday advised African countries to avoid mass gatherings and “wake up” to the growing threat.

On Wednesday, Kenya – which has seven cases – announced that anyone entering the country who fails to observe the required 14 days of self-isolation would be arrested. But there’s no system for monitoring new arrivals, and some flout the rules.

A Kenyan legislator who turned up in parliament this week was forced out by cries of “quarantine! quarantine!” after another lawmaker pointed out he’d recently arrived from London.

In South Africa, which has 116 cases – more than any other sub-Saharan nation – a family that tested positive for the virus refused to go into quarantine this week, forcing officials to get a court order.

“Patients who are tested positive for the COVID-19 virus are required to stay (in quarantine). Not for their safety, but also for the safety of others,” said Kwara Kekana, spokeswoman for the Gauteng provincial health department.

Additional report from Reuters

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