South Africa's coronavirus cases jumped again to 709, the health minister said Wednesday, because the country with the foremost cases in Africa prepared to travel into lockdown very first thing Friday.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on state television acknowledged intense local spread in Free State province among attendees of a church gathering where five cases were first reported. All five people recently traveled abroad. Now almost 30 cases are recorded.
Cases across Africa are now well above 2,400. With Mali, Libya and Guinea-Bissau announcing their first, 46 of the continent's 54 countries now have the virus. The Portuguese press agency Lusa reported the Guinea-Bissau cases, citing the presidency.
Some African leaders have scolded citizens for not adhering to prevention measures.
Countrymen and ladies , I even have gone 'round the town and that i have seen for myself that a lot of among us aren't taking this COVID-19 seriously, Zambian President Edgar Lungu said Wednesday in Lusaka. I even have seen multitudes patronizing bars or freely hugging and shaking hands at funerals, contrary to health advice. The country has 12 cases.
African countries that haven't recorded cases are Sierra Leone , South Sudan, Burundi, Malawi, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho and Sao Tome and Principe, consistent with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some have the foremost fragile health systems on the continent.
Congo became the newest to shut its borders while reporting its third death. The sprawling nation has one among Africa's weakest health systems and has been battling another global health emergency, a deadly Ebola virus outbreak within the east. While that outbreak now appears to be within days of being declared over, Congo also faces an outsized measles outbreak.
As more countries across Africa impose restrictions on gatherings and travel, many informal workers are suffering. Ethiopia's government during a proposal to the Group of 20 major industrialized nations has said Africa needs a $150 billion emergency financing package because COVID-19 poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries.
South Africa already has an percentage of 29% and therefore the lockdown will hit workers hard. But authorities fear what is going to happen if the virus sweeps through crowded low-income communities and conveyance .
Teeming prisons are another worry across Africa. Ethiopia's state broadcaster EBC cited the attorney general as saying quite 4,000 prisoners are going to be released to assist stop the coronavirus' spread. Those include people behind bars for minor offenses and people with children.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, like fever and cough that clear up in two to 3 weeks. For some, especially older adults and other people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.