The coronavirus epidemic continues to disrupt life across the world. The disruption is all but gathering steam in affected even virus-free African countries. The rate of infection is lower on the continent as compared to Europe, Asia and parts of the Americas, where lockdowns are in place.
The impact on gatherings is an area that most African governments have moved to control. A number of business conferences were cancelled on account of the pandemic. A number of governments have also declared State of Emergencies.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa extensively outlined the economic impact of the pandemic on the economy – mining, tourism – in his first address on Saturday. In Nigeria, the government is looking to revise the current budget.
Our main coronavirus hub is seized with major developments around the epidemic. This piece will focus on the impact on business with emphasis on a raft of incidents that have been undertaken.
Ethiopian’s operational updates
Africa’s most expansive and profitable airline, Ethiopian Airlines, says it has suspended flights to over 80 destinations as at March 29 due to the impact of COVID-19.
The Airline in a statement said all its cargo operations remain intact. “We have continued to operate all our domestic services, but our domestic market has declined by 50%,” they said in a statement.
Ethiopian outlined a series of health and safety measures it had put in place to help combat the virus which has adversely impact air travel across the world.
Among others, disinfection of all work areas, strictly adhering to social distancing among employees and all associates of the company, regular measurement of body temperature and instituting a culture of proper hand washing.
“So far, we have consumed more that half a million each (gloves and masks) and we have more than 300,000 each in our stock so that there is no shortage. We have signed a contract with multiple suppliers for a constnous supply of as many as we require,” the statement added.
The Airline said it had made deliveries of coronavirus donation by Chinese businessman Jack Ma to 51 African countries and some European countries. “We are helping save lives, and this is one of the greatest intrinsic satisfaction in life, for which our brave men and women are proud of,” the statement concluded.
— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 29, 2020