Major African countries update regarding COVID 19 active cases and lockdown status as of May 8th:
Confirmed cases = 51,549
Number of deaths = 2,006
Recoveries = 17,634
Infected countries = 53
Virus-free countries = 1 (Lesotho)
KEY HIGHLIGHTS this week
- Nigeria – Nigeria has reopened with a curfew between 8:00 pm to 6:00 am.
- Kenya – The government announced a partial lockdown on two virus hotspots, Eastleigh in Nairobi and Mombasa city. Kenya Airways has announced plans to repatriate citizens from three global cities. (Mumbai, Guangzhou, London)
- Uganda – Last Monday the government has relaxed restrictions on several non-essential businesses amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
- South Africa- A slight easing of the nationwide lockdown with a curfew from 08:00 pm to 05:00 am.
- Ghana – Ghana lifted lockdown in its two major cities-Accra & Kumasi. International flights remain suspended till May 31st, domestic flights resumed from May 1st.
Detailed updates are as below:
In Nigeria, some businesses have reopened on the first working day after the easing of a lockdown imposed on key urban areas in a bid to restart Africa’s largest economy. A ban on large gatherings is still in place and there is a curfew between 08:00 pm and 06:00 am. In Lagos, offices have been told to shut by 03:00 pm while commercial buses must reduce passengers’ numbers to maintain social distance. But some have expressed concerns that the government’s decision to ease restrictions has been premature as the number of new coronavirus cases does not appear to be tailing off. As President Buhari said, Nigeria does not have the resources for a long-term lockdown. This is a tussle between saving Nigeria’s fragile economy and an ailing health sector battling a deadly virus.
(Active cases: 1728)
The government announced a partial lockdown on two virus hotspots, Eastleigh in Nairobi and Mombasa City. The 15-day measure took effect same day starting 7pm local time. Under the measure, there shall be no movement into and out of the places. All public places in the two areas are to be shutdown. The cases tally for the two areas stood at 68 and 64 respectively. Nairobi and Mombasa have been previously placed under similar measure being the most impacted counties. Kenya Airways has announced plans to repatriate citizens from three global cities. The national carrier announced the special repatriation flights via social media handles. The first is from London (May 4th), Mumbai (May 7th) and finally from Guangzhou (May 8th). “Only Kenyan Citizens with COVID-19 test results will board,” Kenya airways clarified. According to a statement posted on their website, passengers will pay a one-way nonrefundable fare. All passengers must arrange their own COVID-19 tests and present proof of a negative result as part of formalities.
(Active cases: 607)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced on April 22nd, a slight easing of the nationwide lockdown that has been in place since March 27. Starting from May 1st, the lockdown moved from the current level 5 to level 4, the wearing of face masks in public is mandatory under new regulations. Other measures under Level 4 includes a curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 (local time), a ban on travel across provincial borders without proof of employment or for other essential purposes, a limit of three people per private vehicle, and taxis must operate at 70 percent capacity or below. Restaurants are only allowed to provide delivery services and some retailers can reopen, including clothes shops, hardware stores, and wholesalers. The agricultural sector is permitted to resume full operations and mining can partially resume. Businesses resuming operations have to comply with certain health regulations, such as set workforce capacities, providing hand sanitizers, and ensuring social distance is maintained.
(Active cases: 7808)
In Senegal, President Macky Sall declared a state of health emergency on March 23 a curfew is imposed between 8 pm and 6 am, during which the population is forbidden to roam the streets. The lockdown is therefore limited to certain hours only. Senegal’s Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Alioune Sarr, announced that all international flights to the country will remain suspended until Monday, June 1. Cargo flights, medical evacuations, and specially authorized flights are exempt from the restriction.
(Active cases: 1433)
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Monday relaxed restrictions on several non-essential businesses amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Addressing the nation from the state house, Museveni praised his country for “successfully” limiting the spread of the disease. The lockdown has been in place for the last 45 days. “Since food and essential goods shops operate, there is need to let wholesale dealers to operate,” said Museveni. Hardware shops, garages, metal works, woodworks, insurance providers and about 30 lawyers should operate, he said. Uganda has suspended all its international flight until further notice.
(Active cases: 100)
Ethiopia is reluctant to initiate a strict lockdown, which the World Health Organization recommends helping to slow down the spread of the virus. All operations that are now allowed per law must be conducted within strict limits of social distancing and observance of other COVID-19 prevention protocols. The state was also the first to get a testing center. Ethiopia is currently under a five-month state of emergency declared earlier this month to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Ethiopian Airlines has suspended flights due to this pandemic.
(Active cases: 162)
Morocco is to extend its national lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus until May 20. Lockdown measures imposed on March 20 mean people are only allowed to go out to buy food or medicine, and to staff some key jobs. Schools, mosques, non-essential shops, and all entertainment venues have been closed. Morocco has made wearing masks mandatory, with those who fail to do so at risk of being fined or jailed. Morocco suspended day all international passenger flights to and from its airports as a protective measure against the spread of coronavirus.
(Active cases: 5408)
Algeria has taken further steps to ease restrictions over the novel coronavirus by allowing several businesses to reopen “to reduce the economic and social impact of the health crisis” caused by the pandemic, the prime minister’s office said on last week. It said shops to be reopened including those for materials for building and public works, appliances, fabrics, jewelry, clothing and shoes, cosmetics and perfumes, home and office furniture, pastries, and hairdressers in addition to urban transport by taxi. Algeria has said restrictions linked to the novel coronavirus has significantly hit the economy which is under financial pressure due to a sharp fall in global oil prices.
(Active cases: 4997)
Rwanda has loosened restrictions after 45 days of coronavirus lockdown, even though a nationwide night-time curfew will be enforced and movement in and out of the capital, Kigali, is prohibited. Roads in Kigali were busy again, in a city considered to be a hotspot for infections. People were seen adhering to mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing.
(Active cases: 268)
Gambia’s National Assembly voted on Friday, April 3, to extend the current State of Emergency for another 45 days. Under the State of Emergency, all bars, casinos, cinemas, event halls, gyms, night club, public swimming pools, and other non-essential businesses are closed. Restaurants are allowed to operate but only sell food for customers to take away. Additionally, all public gatherings, including open markets are suspended, along with school and university classes. Police officers will be deployed to enforce all regulations. All flights, except for medical cargo flights, are suspended since March 23, 2020.
(Active cases: 17)
On Thursday, April 23, Angola’s National Assembly announced that the current nationwide state of emergency will be extended until Sunday, May 10, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This is the second time the government has extended the state of emergency since it was initially imposed on March 27. Also, the Government officials announced that all international flights to and from Angola will be suspended until further notice.
(Active cases: 36)
After three weeks, Ghana lifted the coronavirus lockdown in its two biggest cities, Accra and Kumasi on Monday April 20th. A lockdown of the two worst affected metropolitan areas had been in place since March 30, 2020. However, non-essential businesses also will now be allowed to open while wearing of masks. But there are still bans on large gatherings and schools will remain closed. On Friday, May 1, President announced the extension of the closure of the country’s international borders till May 31, the measure also affects international commercial flights, which will not operate over this period. Citizens returning from abroad and foreign nationals with Ghanaian residence permits will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine period if they show symptoms of the virus. The domestic flights in Ghana resumed from May 1 with precautionary measures, such as safe distancing.
(Active cases: 3091)
Zambia‘s president Edgar Lungu announced the government wouldn’t close its borders unlike other Sub-Saharan nations, as this would lead to an economic meltdown. In addition, he suspended all international flights except those landing and departing from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the capital, Lusaka. He has also ordered the closure of gyms, bars, casinos and night clubs. Yet, “essential businesses dealing in goods and services will be kept running”.
(Active cases: 146)
Malawi Health Minister has declared a 21-day lockdown that came into effect at midnight on April 18th and runs till midnight on May 9th. The Malawi Department of Civil Aviation announced that all international flights to and from Malawi will be suspended until further notice
(Active cases: 43)
On April 12, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority announced a suspension of all international passenger flights due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Cargo flights are exempt from the suspension, but crew members will be quarantined at government facilities during their stay. President John Magufuli has announced that the country will not be closing its borders due to humanitarian concerns, as the closure would impact land-locked countries in the region dependent on its ports.
(Active cases: 480)
It has enforced a nationwide curfew from 2pm to 7am and prohibited intercity travel on April 23, that the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) curfew will be modified. The new curfew will be implemented on Monday, April 27, and will run from 18:00 to 06:00 (local time), and individuals will be permitted to operate vehicles, banned during the previous curfew. It is unclear as to how long the measure will remain in place.
(Active cases: 64)
On Monday, April 13, General Abdi Hassan Mohamed Hajar, Somali commander of police, announced that a nighttime curfew would be implemented in Mogadishu for an indefinite period from Wednesday, April 15, to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The nightly curfew will be in effect between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time). Also, all international flights to and from Somalia are indefinitely suspended.
(Active cases: 873)
President Felipe Nyusi announced a 30-day extension to the state of emergency until May 30, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. All the international flights remain suspended until further notice.
(Active cases: 81)