The coronavirus has proved to be quite a challenge for Africa, whose most of its population lives from hand to mouth. Most families in the continent have to report to work daily to survive. Therefore, when most governments issued lockdown directives in...
coronavirus, lockdown, easing, lockdown, restrictions, covid-19, tests, covid-19
The coronavirus has proved to be quite a challenge for Africa, whose most of its population lives from hand to mouth. Most families in the continent have to report to work daily to survive. Therefore, when most governments issued lockdown directives in late March to prevent the spread of Covid-19, they were received with sadness.
Rwanda was the first country on 22nd March to implement a lockdown, while other countries followed soon after. Kenya started with a dawn to dusk curfew, and the police had to implore force to achieve it. In a continent where people live on less than a dollar per day, the African people could not fathom the stringent lockdowns brought by Coronavirus outbreak. While the lockdown has survived over a month in most African countries, Ghana eased restrictions after only three weeks.
President Pombe Magufuli however, cannot and will not restrict movement in Tanzania, not within or without on the borders. While President Magufuli could be one of the most sympathetic African Presidents, what are the risks?
Already, all 51 African countries have Covid-19 cases except Lesotho. Comoros is the latest country in Africa to report a Coronavirus case that materialized on 30th April. The coronavirus infections in Africa have spiked by 43%, yet less than 500,000 Covid-19 tests have been done. South Africa is leading on testing with 130,000 tests done. This may be bad news for Africans who desperately want to resume their daily activities.
Nigeria, despite having a high population of 200 million people, only 7,153 tests have been conducted. While Africa Centers for Disease Control has a target of conducting one million more Covid-19 tests in the next one month, the African hunger pangs cannot hold longer. With 38,825 coronavirus cases and 1,634 deaths from Covid-19 across Africa, the African continent will not scare leaders of hungry nations to continue issuing restrictions.
South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Nigeria have started easing lockdown restrictions. These governments are asking their people to report to work and businesses while observing social distancing, wearing facemasks, and washing hands with running water and soap.