Coronavirus: Africa faces the pandemic on Monday June 1

South Africans are lining up in front of a liquor store whose sale was re-authorized this Monday, June 1 in the country. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

Text by: RFI Follow

Africa counted this Monday June 1 147,099 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The Covid-19 has already claimed the lives of 4,228 people on the continent, according to the African Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The countries most affected by the epidemic are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria.


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  • Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Tanzania partially reopen their schools

The pupils of the primary levels resumed their way to school this Monday, June 1 in Niger . The establishments had been closed since March 20 and the appearance of the first coronaviruses in the country. Nursery schools, on the other hand, remain at home for the time being. To ensure social distance, the classes will be divided into two groups, and the canteens will not yet serve meals. The school year will end on July 10.

Schools and universities in Cameroon , closed since March 17, have also reopened today. The return to the classes currently concerns only pupils with examinations at the end of the year, in primary and secondary. All students, on the other hand, are called upon to return to universities.

In Burkina Faso too, it is the pupils of the examination classes (final and third) who returned to class this Monday. For the other levels, no timetable has yet been announced by the authorities.

In Tanzania , lessons resume only for pupils in the last year of secondary education and for students. The school calendar has been interrupted for two months now, in order to limit the risks of the virus spreading in the country.

  • First death of coronavirus in Rwanda

The Rwanda recorded this weekend first death from Covid-19. According to the press release from the Ministry of Health, it is a 65-year-old Rwandan truck driver who lived in a neighboring country and who decided to return to the country after falling seriously ill. He received intensive care in a facility specializing in the fight against Covid-19 but died from serious respiratory complications. Since the start of the epidemic, Rwanda has confirmed 370 cases of Covid-19, but only 113 cases are still active, the others having been declared cured.

Easing measures, such as the authorization to travel between the different provinces and the capital Kigali or the resumption of activities of motorcycle taxis were to enter into force on Monday. But the Prime Minister’s office announced late Sunday that the easing was currently on hold.

After reassessment, transportation between provinces and the City of Kigali, as well as passenger moto services, will remain closed until further notice in the interest of public health. Further Covid-19 measures will be announced by Cabinet on Tuesday 2 June.

  Office of the PM | Rwanda (@PrimatureRwanda) May 31, 2020

  • Postponement of the reopening of schools in South Africa

Turnaround in South Africa . While schools were to reopen on Monday for students in the last year of primary and secondary education, the Minister of Education has finally postponed for a week the resumption of classes. This delay must allow the sending of protective equipment to ensure the safety of teachers and children. The teachers' unions asked for the postponement of the return to school for several days, considering that all the establishments were not yet ready.

In contrast, schools in Cape Town led by the Democratic Alliance opposition party reopened on Monday. The region is the main focus of the epidemic in South Africa, with two thirds of the cases recorded on its soil.

At the same time, new flexibility measures come into force today: the reopening of places of worship with a limit of 50 worshipers in particular, but also the resumption of internal air traffic for work-related trips. The authorization to sell alcohol, banned since mid-March, was the most anticipated measure. Some restrictions remain: alcohol must be consumed at home only, and it can only be purchased from Monday to Thursday. As of this morning, long queues were observed in certain points of sale. And the customers expressed their impatience in song.

#Tops 😂 its on people! # Lockdown3 # level3lockdown

  The_Cube (@ The_1Cube) June 1, 2020

  • Ghana lifts ban on collective prayers

From this Friday, collective prayers will be authorized again in Ghana , but on the condition that they do not gather more than 100 people and last less than an hour. President Nana Akufo-Addo announced other relaxation of the restrictions in force: conferences, weddings, political activities can be held again, but also without exceeding the bar of 100 participants. Borders remain closed, however, and festivals and sporting events are still prohibited.

  • Uhuru Kenyatta Expresses Concern Over Growing Number of Covid-19 Cases

Today June 1, 2020 is the 57th anniversary of independence in Kenya . On this Madaraka Day, as it is called, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation. The head of state announced $ 200 million in aid to the hotel sector, asked the government to prepare a timetable for the reopening of schools and for easing restrictions on places of worship. As the country approaches 2,000 patients, Uhuru Kenyatta also wanted everyone to be inspired by the heroes of independence. This epidemic we are in, yes, it is a dark time, " he said. But the founders of our nation demand that we be at our best. And this requirement is not an unattainable ideal. They applied it to themselves, as they fought to bring us independence. To defeat this invisible enemy, and make up for what has been lost, we must unite as a nation. Each of us is called to become a hero against this virus.  "

  • In Madagascar, the Tamatave region isolated from the rest of the country

Sunday evening, the president of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina announced in a televised address the tightening of restrictions in the Atsinanana region, in the east of the country, where Tamatave, the largest port of the island, is located . No entry or exit from the region, which has become the main focus of the epidemic on the national territory, is not authorized. The schools, after reopening in April, will again close their doors to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In the capital Antananarivo, on the other hand, restrictions are relaxed from today. Shops can now open until 3 p.m., instead of 1 p.m. previously. The curfew is maintained throughout the country between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Read also: Madagascar: Rajoelina takes new measures and discusses the controversial colosseum site

  • Uganda MPs Arrested During Border Closure Demonstration

Two Ugandan opposition MPs were arrested this weekend after participating in a protest to close the border with South Sudan. They asked for the interruption of truck drivers' crossings at the Elegu border crossing to limit the spread of the coronavirus on the territory. The Minister of Health announced earlier that 50 of them, from South Sudan, had tested positive for Covid-19.

Since March 23, all Ugandan borders have been closed, except for truck drivers. To return to the territory, they must undergo screening tests for Covid-19.

  • Containment causes food crisis in Afar region in Eritrea

The coercive measures imposed in Eritrea have not spared the Afar region, which borders the Red Sea, one of the poorest and most remote areas of the country. The army was deployed to prevent any movement in the villages or between the communes, in this area of ​​fishermen and caravanners. Arrests of convoys, seizure of fishing boats, expulsion of patients from rare health centers, insufficient rationing ... The Red Sea Afar Human Rights Organization (RSAHRO) denounces in a communicated the abusive measures taken, she said, by the government of Asmara against the Afars.

Ibrahim Ahmed, spokesperson for the RSAHRO, is worried about the start of a food crisis caused by the cessation of fishing. “  The basic ration distributed by the government and the single party is two and a half kilos of sorghum flour and one and a half kilos of sugar per person per month. And people survived on it for two months! And worse: today there is no food, nothing. People are hungry and have no right to move,  ”he regrets.

  • Moroccan authorities launch tracking application to stem epidemic

In Morocco , the Ministry of Health launched on Monday the application "Wiqaytna" which should allow to trace the contamination of coronavirus in the country. The application, which works with Bluetooth technology and whose installation is based on a voluntary basis, notifies the users in the event of prolonged proximity with another user who tested positive within 21 days of contact. Wiqaytna is put into service ten days before the start of deconfinement in the country, scheduled for June 10. In Morocco, 7,807 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 205 deaths have been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Our selection on the coronavirus

Listen to our Coronavirus Info column 

Our  explanations  :
→  What we know about the mode of contagion
→  Disparities and inequalities facing the coronavirus
→  Triple therapy, Discovery… update on research
→  Remdesivir, antibodies and immunity
→  The race for the vaccine is in full swing
→  How to make a mask and use it well

Our series  :
→ “  The response, country by country  ”
→ “  Nurses  ' words

After Covid-19, towards a new world?

See also the files of RFI Savoirs on the Covid-19:
→  Birth of a pandemic
→  Everyday life put to the test
→  The history of epidemics
→  Science facing the Covid-19
→  The geopolitical consequences

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