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Coronavirus: Botswana’s First Cases, South Africa’s Mass Testing, Uganda Lockdown

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 thirty-six 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.


March 31: Botswana records cases, Uganda imposes 14-day lockdown

Botswana’s Minister of Health and Wellness has this evening announced that the country has three cases of COVID 19.

During a special bulletin the Minister Lemogang Kwape said the three patients are 2males and a female, who had travelled from Thailand and the United Kingdom respectively.
Kwape further indicated the COVID 19 patients are already in isolation undergoing treatment.

Botswana is the one of the two countries in the Southern Africa bloc which was still a green zone, which had not recorded any positive cases of COVID 19.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has launched a mass screening programme for coronavirus. South Africa is Africa’s most impacted country with over 30,000 tests and 1,280 cases as at March 30.

On Monday evening, the president said 10,000 field workers would be visiting homes to screen people – and those found with symptoms would be quarantined either in their homes or in hospitals.

Mr Ramaphosa said the programme was a “new phase” in the fight against the spread of the virus. Uganda joined South Africa and others in the lockdown category of countries after president Museveni spelt out raft of measures aimed at helping halt the spread of the virus.

March 30: Kenya wants MPs tested, lockdown experiences

Kenya’s lower parliamentary chamber wants some 50 lawmakers to be tested for coronavirus amid fears they may have contracted the virus from a member who recently tested positive, the Daily Nation newspaper reports

Local media reports say the parliament has submitted the names of MPs and parliamentary staff it wants tested to the health ministry. It wants them placed on mandatory quarantine as well.

The MP who tested positive is believed to have contracted the virus from a county governor who had returned from Germany on a working visit. Kenya currently has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with two deaths.

Meanwhile Ghana and Zimbabwe joined the list of African countries enforcing lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Zimbabwe is in a nationwide lockdown like in South Africa and Namibia. Zimbabwe has seven cases with one death.

Over in Ghana where confirmed cases are gone past 150, government has placed lockdowns on two major regions. The Greater Accra and Ashanti regions where cases have been recorded.

South Africa’s lockdown enforcement has been the subject of widespread criticism after security agents were seen assaulting unarmed citizens some of them within their compounds. The country has over 1,200 cases.

Pensioners are as at Monday morning queuing across the country for their allowances. The Ministry of Defense announced that it was ready to fall on other reserve forces to complement the current deployment.

Over in Kenya, there were clashes between the populace and security forces over the enforcement of a night time curfew that started last Friday. Multiple regional states in Ethiopia have banned transport as cases recently spread to Oromia and Amhara regions. Ethiopia has 23 cases presently.


Nigeria’s Lagos State along with Osun state and the capital Abuja have been put on lockdown by the federal government. Nigeria has 111 cases with over half in Lagos. Abuja is the next most impacted. About 12 other states have recorded cases with two in the north – Bauchi and Kaduna.

March 29: South Africa tally hits 1,200; cases rise across Africa

The South African government has reported that as at today, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1280. This is an increase of 93 from the previously reported cases. Guateng and Western Cape provinces remained the most impacted with 548 and 310 cases respectively.

“It is with sadness that we announce the second death of a patient who had tested positive for COVID-19. The 74 year old male had been in ICU and ventilation in a private hospital in Ladysmith.

“He had travelled to Kruger National Park with his family and came back with flu like symptoms. He was confirmed to be COVID-19 positive on the 27th March 2020,” the statement signed by Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize read.

Cases continue to rise across Africa. Uganda recorded 10 cases over the weekend bringing the tally to 33. Ethiopia’s tally now stands at 21. Kenya now has 42 confirmed cases, the Health Minister confirmed on Sunday. Eritrea recorded a 100% raise in cases from six to 12 as at Sunday.

Nairobi County continues to lead with 31 cases of those who have so far tested positive, followed by Kilifi with six, Mombasa with three, while Kajiado and Kwale with one each. Out of the 42 positive cases, 24 are male while 18 are female.

Government has announced that the ministry’s medical teams have embarked on mass testing for all persons who arrived in the country last week, and are currently under mandatory quarantine in various designated hotels and government facilities.

March 28: Rwanda, Lagos State support vulnerable

The Rwandan government on Saturday, March 28, kick started a support initiative aimed at vulnerable families adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Rwanda currently has 60 confirmed cases.

President Paul Kagame had in a national address late last week highlighted the resolve of government to do everything possible to support vulnerable Rwandans during the lockdown citing its social and economic challenges.

The hard-hit Rwandans living in urban centres without a salaried income are the most affected. The initiative kicked-off in some parts of the three districts of Kigali, state-run New Times said.

The food relief is being drawn from the country’s National Strategic Grain Reserve under the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources which is used in case of food shortage, the portal added.

Over in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, the state government announced an Emergency Food Response as a means of supporting indigenes and the vulnerable. Neighbouring Ekiti State has announced a similar measures.

“We are all aware that this is a trying time for our citizens and since the partial drop in economic activities, our government deemed it necessary to reach out to the vulnerable ones in the society,” Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said.

For his part, Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, issued a new set of Executive Order with a raft of
orders which included reactivating the State’s food bank to support the vulnerable.

“I have directed that the Ekiti State Food Bank be reactivated immediately to provide food items to the poor and vulnerable families in our communities. The Task Force will announce the modalities as soon as the process is fully activated.

“The State Government will consider providing a stipend to our self-employed citizens whose daily income will be interrupted at this time as subsidy for their loss of income,” the order read in part.


Written by How Africa

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