EYEAFRICA TV: Luanda, Angola: Angola on Saturday confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, while Mauritius recorded its first death as the virus spreads across Africa.
The continent has been slower to feel the impact than Asia or Europe, and most of its reported cases have been foreigners or people who have returned from abroad.
But confirmed infections have started to accelerate, with more than 830 across Africa, according to a Reuters tally, and concerns are growing about its ability to handle a surge of cases without the depth of medical facilities available in more developed economies.
Angola’s first cases were two male Angolan residents who flew back from Portugal on March 17 and 18, Health minister Silvia Lutucuta told a briefing.
Zimbabwe reported its first case on Friday, and a second on Saturday, while the island of Mauritius, with 14 cases, reported its first death, a person who had traveled from Belgium via Dubai.
Many African countries have already shut borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected over 250,000 people around the world and claimed more than 10,000 lives.
South Africa, which has the most cases in Sub-Saharan Africa, confirmed 38 news cases, taking its total to 240.
Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, plans to close its two main international airports in the cities of Lagos and Abuja from Monday night as the number of reported coronavirus cases rose to 22 from 12 on Saturday.
Rwanda, which has 17 confirmed cases, stepped up preventive measures on Saturday, banning travel between towns and other parts of the country for two weeks, closing all bars, and requiring all government and private employees to work from home.
Both Rwanda and Uganda on Saturday announced they would close their borders.
At this point there are already more than 1,000 cases in 38 of the 54 countries on the African continent, for a global population of 1.3 billion people, It seems little, and it is much lower than what many European countries are currently recording daily, as in Italy, which just this Friday accounted for almost 6,000 new cases, in Spain (2335) or Germany (4528). But the problem is that no one knows exactly how the situation is going to evolve from here on the African continent, because of that “Africa must wake up, my continent must wake up,” Appealed by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization.