Covid-19 cases rear up across Africa, curbs imposed

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Cairo, March 18 (IANS) Egypt on Wednesday reported two more coronavirus deaths taking its toll to six, as virus cases began to be reported across Africa, which has so far been spared the brunt of the disease, reports said.
Egypt currently has 196 confirmed cases, the BBC reported.
Tunisia, which has 24 cases and over 2,000 recent travellers in self-quarantine, has imposed a curfew 12 hours a day to try to curb the disease’s spread.
In South Africa, where there are 116 cases so far, over 1,700 people are confined in a cruise ship of Cape Town after six people with symptoms were taken ashore for testing.
Kenya confirmed three more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to seven. Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said all the cases are people who arrived from outside.
Tanzania’s Zanzibar has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said. The East African country currently has reported three cases.
Burkina Faso, which has 26 confirmed cases, has announced its first death from Covid-19, with authorities identifying the deceased as a diabetic woman aged 62. It was later announced that the woman was Rose Marie Compaore, a Vice President in the National Assembly.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ghana has increased to seven, but authorities said that all were recovering.
Nigeria has placed a travel ban on people coming from 13 countries worst affected by coronavirus as five new cases were recorded in the continent’s most-populous nation.
With warnings that their strained public health systems could easily become overwhelmed, various governments are taking steps which they hope will slow the pace of infection. Many countries, such as Kenya, have closed schools at an earlier stage than in much of Europe.
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, who has sent medical supplies to the US and promised to distribute face masks in coronavirus-battered Europe, has announced he would donate thousands of testing kits, masks and protective suits to each African country to help the fight against the killer disease.
“Africa can be one step ahead of the coronavirus. To each of the 54 African countries, we will donate 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields…” he said in a tweet.
The Chinese billionaire said that the supplies – 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks and 60, medical use protective suits and face shields – would be delivered to Ethiopia’s capital, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed would oversee their distribution across the continent.

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