Several African nations on Monday, March 16, 2020 implemented drastic measures in the hope of slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, while case numbers on the continent slowly although steadily increased.
South African Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, told newsmen the country was dealing with an “explosive” increase in cases, a day after government closed air travel to high risk countries.
South Africa has reported a total of 62 cases so far.
According to Mkhize, most patients have been infected with the virus when travelling overseas, but two cases of local transmission were now also under investigation.
“In East Africa, Indian Ocean holiday paradise Seychelles closed schools for at least two weeks on Mahe, the largest of the archipelago’s islands, after three confirmed cases of the coronavirus on its shores,’’ the Health Ministry said.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on his Twitter account that schools, sport events and large gatherings would be suspended in the East African country for 15 days.
The West African nation of Liberia recorded its first coronavirus case.
“The patient is the Director-General of the nation’s Environmental Protection Agency, who returned on Friday from a business trip to Switzerland,’’ Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, said.
Also in West Africa, Ghana closed all schools and universities and banned public gatherings, including services in mosques and churches, after it confirmed its sixth coronavirus case.
Ghana and Liberia also imposed a temporary ban on non-citizens travelling from countries that have recorded 200 or more cases of the pandemic.
Cameroon confirmed two additional cases of the virus, bringing the total number of infected persons to five.