African Union Covid-19 updates
The African Union provides a Covid-19 Surveillance Dashboard, with updates from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the latest Covid-19 Outbreak Briefs.
Evolution of Covid-19 in Africa
The population of the African continent (17% of the world’s population) accounts for 3.4% of global coronavirus infections (RFI, 15 December). Since mid-February 2020, 2.32 million infections and more than 55,000 deaths due to Covid-19 have been recorded there. The countries of southern and northern Africa have the highest number of cases (seven countries accounting for about 81% of the total number of cases, including South Africa with 27%). West Africa, which has so far been little affected, is seeing a rebound in new infections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to vaccinate “3% of Africans by March 2021 and 20% by the end of next year“. Several African countries (Morocco, Guinea, South Africa) have already experimented with candidate vaccines with a view to a broader vaccination campaign (RFI, 6 January). However, of the 47 countries in the WHO African region, “only about a quarter have adequate plans for resources and financing“.
The situation in South Africa
Since mid-December 2020, South Africa is experiencing a second wave of the epidemic with the appearance of a new variant of Covid-19 (RFI, 10 December, 20 December). Infections have increased most among young people aged 15 to 19, particularly in the Cape Town, South East, Pretoria and Johannesburg regions. During the festive season, the authorities banned all indoor and outdoor gatherings, introduced a curfew from 9pm to 6am, banned travel between provinces and closed non-essential shops.
In mid-January 2021, the announcement of a new confinement in Zimbabwe led to a large influx of Zimbabweans into Limpopo province. The Beitbridge border crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe is heavily used as it facilitates trade with Malawi, Zambia, and the rest of the sub-region (RFI, 10 January). The thousands of transporters and travellers who cross it daily are now sometimes forced to wait several days – without respecting social distancing.
The situation in Burkina Faso
At the end of December 2020, coronavirus infections were on the rise as a result of the conjunction between the Harmattan season, the increase in respiratory diseases, and the failure to respect social distancing during large gatherings (linked, in part, to the election period) (RFI, 20 December). The authorities are not considering re-confinement or quarantine, but would like to see stricter enforcement of social distancing.
The situation in Burundi
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the authorities have announced the closure of land and sea borders from 11 January 2021 (RFI, 10 January). This closure concerns only the movement of people, not goods. Passengers arriving at the international airport must be isolated for seven days in hotels closed to all other customers, and undergo a screening test when they disembark and on the sixth day of their quarantine.
The situation in Côte d’Ivoire
Since the beginning of the year, the number of coronavirus infections has been on the rise, particularly following the “massive arrival of holidaymakers from Europe, the festive gatherings at the end of the year” and the non-respect of barrier gestures (RFI, 9 January). Côte d’Ivoire plans to vaccinate 20% of its population, or 5 million people, and to bring forward the start of the vaccination campaign to February instead of April (RFI, 12 December).
The situation in DRC
22 of the country’s 26 provinces are affected by cases of infection, with the capital Kinshasa, North Kivu, Kongo Central and Haut-Katanga experiencing high numbers. Since mid-December 2020, and due to the increase in infection, the authorities have introduced a curfew from 9pm to 5am over almost the entire territory. Large gatherings are prohibited as well as meetings of more than ten people.
The situation in Ghana
Since March 2020, Ghana’s land borders have been closed to people, but not to goods, to prevent the spread of the virus (RFI, 17 December). This affects small businesses as traders sometimes have to travel to import or export their products. Catering businesses have closed due to a lack of foreign customers who used the border to come and eat. The economy has gone into recession for the first time in 37 years because of the pandemic.
The situation in Madagascar
Since March 2020, the virus has been circulating extensively throughout the country, but the number of deaths due to Covid-19 appears to be contained. A young population and collective immunity may explain this limited number (RFI, 16 December). The Pasteur Institute in Madagascar and the Ministry of Health reveal that 40% of the population have been infected by the virus.
The economy is experiencing a 4.2% decline, the result of the closure of borders, a drop in export revenues, a sharp drop in private investment and the sudden halt in the country’s economic activity. The World Bank estimates that an additional 1.9 million Malagasy will be living below the poverty line (RFI, 18 December).
The situation in Senegal
At the beginning of January, a curfew was introduced from 9pm to 5am in the regions of Dakar and Thiès in the face of the worrying rise in infections (RFI, 6 January). These two regions concentrate 90% of the positive cases at Covid-19. For the second time since March 2020, the state has introduced a state of health emergency with a strengthening of sanitary controls at the borders.
CARICOM situation updates
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) provides updated data from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and information on curfews and other measures in each of the Member States.
Current situation in the Pacific
The Pacific Community publishes regular Pacific Community Updates on the status of the pandemic and its impacts on the various Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).