9.6 C
New York
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Home Africa South Africa’s cases leap again as 3-week lockdown looms

South Africa’s cases leap again as 3-week lockdown looms

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s coronavirus cases leapt again to 554 on Tuesday, the most of any country in Africa, as its 57 million people rushed to prepare for an unprecedented lockdown that begins Thursday.

Across Africa, 43 of its 54 countries now have cases, with the total at 1,788. Thirteen countries have reported 58 deaths. South Africa has not recorded one.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced the 21-day lockdown. Rwanda and Tunisia earlier announced lockdowns.

Determined shoppers made their last runs for supplies as authorities tried to reassure the public that food would not run out.

Workers in South Africa will be required to stay home except for those in essential services including health care and security as well as the production and distribution of food, utilities and medical products.

Individuals can leave home only under “strictly controlled circumstances” to access essential items.

The country’s economic hub of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, has South Africa’s highest number of infections with 302, followed by the Western Cape, which includes the city of Cape Town, with 213 cases.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said officials expected the number of cases to continue to rise despite the lockdown, but changes might be seen around the end of the second or third week of the lockdown.

“We must not be shocked when we see the increase,” Mkhize said.

Elsewhere in Africa, South Sudan closed its borders as the country struggling to rebuild from a five-year civil war tried to prevent the virus from arriving. Nigeria’s ban on international flights began.

And Ethiopia’s government issued a proposal to the G20 global forum for economic cooperation ahead of the G20 summit, saying “COVID-19 poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries.”

The statement asks for a $150 billion emergency financing package for Africa. It also proposes that all interest payments to government loans, and part of the debt of low-income countries, should be written off.

African nations’ economies are expected to take a severe hit from the coronavirus as borders close and trade drops.


Elias Meseret in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Maura Ajak in Juba, South Sudan contributed.


The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source link

Most Popular

As feared, virus-sparked recession grips the world: IMF – News

The IMF had warned that pandemic would lead to a global recession that could be worse than the one...

Suspending The Constitution: Police State Uses Crises To Expand Its Lockdown Powers

Suspending The Constitution: Police State Uses Crises To Expand Its Lockdown Powers Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “That was when they suspended...

US coronavirus cases top 100,000; Italy deaths rise: Live updates | News

The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States hit more than 104,000 early on Saturday, according to a...

President Trump invokes act to force General Motors to produce ventilators

President Donald Trump has issued a Defence Production Act order to force General Motors to produce ventilators for coronavirus patients.Mr Trump said negotiations...