(OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso) — Africa’s circumstances of the coronavirus rose above 1,000 on Saturday whereas two heads of state appeared to defy their very own journey restrictions to attend one other president’s inauguration.
Angola introduced its first circumstances, that means no less than 40 of Africa’s 54 international locations at the moment are affected. Congo reported its first demise; Burkina Faso reported two new ones. Ivory Coast was the newest to announce it was closing its borders. And Ethiopia’s electoral authorities mentioned the virus’ impact on a serious nationwide election later this yr.
Angola closed its air, land and sea borders this week, however Namibian media confirmed President Joao Lourenco on the inauguration of Namibian President Hage Geingob. Additionally in attendance was President Mokgweetsi Masisi of neighboring Botswana, which this week suspended worldwide journey by all authorities staff.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa additionally was there. He introduced a nationwide catastrophe even earlier than his nation confirmed its first virus case on Friday. On Saturday, his nation introduced the primary case within the capital, Harare.
Burkina Faso now has probably the most virus deaths of any nation in sub-Saharan Africa. The West African nation has one of many highest caseloads on the continent with 64.
A number of authorities ministers in Burkina Faso have examined optimistic, together with the minister of overseas affairs. On Friday, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore introduced the nation’s two worldwide airports would shut for 2 weeks with the exception for navy and cargo.
Burkina Faso is one in every of Africa’s most fragile states with a rising humanitarian disaster brought on by assaults linked to Islamic extremists. Greater than 130 well being facilities have closed, affecting greater than 1.5 million individuals, the federal government and help teams say.
Based on a authorities response plan seen by The Related Press, emergency groups aren’t skilled for a respiratory illness outbreak and don’t have acceptable protecting gear.
There’s additionally inadequate screening at borders. None of Burkina Faso’s 44 high-flow entry factors have the wanted private protecting tools, and solely 23% have coronavirus screening units.
Jerry-Jonas Mbasha, cluster coordinator for the World Well being Group in Burkina Faso, stated he was “a lot apprehensive about what would possibly occur within the subsequent one week, two weeks from now.”
Most individuals solely expertise minor flu-like signs from the coronavirus and get better inside a number of weeks, however the virus is very contagious and may be unfold by those that seem properly. It will possibly trigger extreme sickness, together with pneumonia, in some sufferers, notably these with underlying well being issues.
Greater than 275,000 circumstances have been confirmed globally, together with over 11,000 deaths, based on a operating tally by Johns Hopkins College. At the least 88,000 individuals have recovered.
In Nigeria, which simply three weeks in the past introduced the primary coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa, authorities stated that first affected person, a person who had traveled from Italy, was now match to go residence.
In Kenya, well being officers continued to disinfect crowded markets within the capital, Nairobi, attempting to cease the virus’ unfold.
“It’s for the sake of us, it’s for the sake of the nation,” stated Simon Kimani, public well being council chairman.
Anna reported from Johannesburg. Farai Mutsaka in Harare, Zimbabwe and Idi Ali Juma in Nairobi, Kenya contributed.
The Related Press receives help for well being and science protection from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Training. The AP is solely accountable for all content material.