Coronavirus in Africa – All the Latest Updates

Africa Coronavirus Updates
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As the coronavirus spreads rapidly across Africa, several countries have increased their response measures. Here are all the latest updates in countries across Africa.

Mauritius imposes total lockdown over Coronavirus

The government of Mauritius has imposed a total lockdown in the tourist hotspot to curb the spread of coronavirus. The island nation, which has a population of 1.2m, has reported two deaths from Covid-19 and 36 positive cases.

The lockdown came into effect on Thursday 19th March, but stricter measures were implemented on Monday 23rd March. People stocked up on food and other supplies ahead of Monday’s official start of the total lockdown, from 20:00 local time (16:00 GMT).

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said on Sunday that the measures were necessary because the country was dealing with a “war situation”. Mr Jugnauth said he was concerned that people were not observing strict crowd control measures introduced by the government to help curb the spread of the respiratory virus.

He said the situation can get worse with some irresponsible persons who did not respect the confinement and endanger the lives of an entire population.

During the lockdown period, which will run until 2 April, people will not be allowed to leave their houses unless they have a permit from the police commissioner.

However, they will be allowed to go out to buy essential supplies from bakeries, supermarkets, and some shops which will be opened at specific times. The new strict measures also give police powers of arrest without a warrant.

Nigeria confirms four more cases of Covid-19 as flight ban begins

In Nigeria, worship in churches and mosques has been suspended. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria has risen to forty with one death. This is after four more people tested positive, three in Lagos and one in the capital, Abuja.

The National Centre for Disease Control said two of the latest cases involved people who had recently travelled from abroad. Amongst the infected is the son of ex-Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar, Moh Abubakar.

WHO and NCDC monitoring activities at Lagos Murtala Muhammed Airport
Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport

On Monday night, a ban on all international flights kicked in and Nigeria closed its land borders to try and slow the spread of the virus. Civil servants in the cities of Abuja and Lagos have been instructed to work from home.

In the Nigerian social media space, there have been speculations that some 10 senators and 15 members of the Federal House Representative have tested positive for the covid-19 virus. There is also rumours that the President’s chief of staff Abba Kyari has tested positive to the virus.

Rwanda’s coronavirus cases nearly double in a day

Rwanda has gone under total lockdown. The health ministry has announced 17 new coronavirus cases, the country’s highest single-day increase in the number of confirmed infections.

The country now has a total of 36 confirmed cases, which is the highest in the East Africa region.

In a statement from the ministry, of the new cases, only one was locally infected, nine had recently arrived from the United Arab Emirates, three from Kenya, two from the US and one each from India and Qatar.

Rwanda is currently under total lockdown that was imposed on Sunday, the first sub-Saharan African country to take such a stringent measure to curb the spread of the virus.

In the region, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia have all confirmed cases, while Burundi and South Sudan are yet to report any case.

Uganda confirms eight more cases of coronavirus

Uganda has confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to nine. All the new cases involve its nationals who recently travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates was not registered as a high-risk country by the government. The government had on 18 March banned travel by Ugandans to countries most affected by coronavirus.

Six of the cases were registered at the main Entebbe airport, while two were detected at their self-isolation locations, according to Health Minister Ruth Aceng who addressed a press conference close to midnight on Monday.

Related: Four Burkina Faso Ministers Test Positive Covid-19

The government is calling on all the people who travelled to Dubai in the last two weeks to present themselves to the authorities.


Meanwhile, Ugandan police have raided two schools in an upscale neighbourhood in the capital, Kampala, for defying a nationwide order for closure of all schools.

Five students and 23 teachers were picked up from one school, while 53 teachers were found in the second school. According to police, the teachers said they had been asked to come in and email homework to their students, while others said they had been called in to pick their paycheques.

Ghana confirms second death from coronavirus

Ghana has recorded a second death resulting from covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.

The West African country has also confirmed two more cases, taking the total number of confirmed infections to 27. The patients are in isolation and receiving treatment.

Of the confirmed cases, 20 are Ghanaians – majority of whom returned home from affected countries – while seven are foreign nationals from Norway, Lebanon, China, France and the UK.

Ghana has so far tested 317 suspected cases of the virus. The authorities are tracking 600 people who had contacts with the infected people.

Nine people have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine and have been cleared of the virus.

The country has already closed its borders. Its tourism authority has also shut all beaches indefinitely as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the disease.

The authorities have strongly encouraged Ghanaians to adhere to social distancing rules.

Senegal and Ivory Coast declare state of emergency over virus

Senegal and Ivory Coast have declared states of emergency over the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Senegalese President Macky Sall said the state of emergency would start on Tuesday midnight, accompanied by a curfew from 8:00pm to 6:00am local time. The military and police have been ordered to execute the measures.

The announcement was made in an address to the nation on Tuesday in which Mr Sall acknowledged that the country was struggling to contain the spread of the virus.

“Since the appearance of the first case on 2 March, the government has put in place a plan to stem the progression of the disease. But, obviously, we’re not there yet,” he said.

Senegal has 79 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus, including eight people who have recovered. More than 1,500 people who are suspected to have been in contact with the confirmed cases are being tracked down.

Furthermore, Mr Sall announced a $1.5b (£1.2b) solidarity and response fund, while $80m (£61m) will be devoted to emergency food aid.

In Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara said the government would introduce gradual confinement measures and a curfew from 9:00pm to 5:00am local time from Tuesday.

During a televised speech President Ouattara is quoted saying “Faced with the progression of the pandemic… I declare a state of emergency throughout the country”.

He ordered the closure of all bars and banned unauthorised movement between the capital, Abidjan, and the interior of the country.

SA president announces three-week lockdown

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced in a live televised address that there will be a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday in order to control the outbreak of coronavirus.

It will last for 21 days. This means that all South Africans are required to stay at home except for essential purposes, a tweet from the president’s office says.

There are currently 402 cases of coronavirus in the country – the highest number in sub-Saharan Africa. No deaths have been recorded so far.