March 24, 2020
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows empty streets at the entrance of Ariana city during a curfew to counter the spread of the coronavirus, near Tunis, Tunisia March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
By Mercy Asamba | Standard Media, Kenya
In an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus, countries across Africa have put in place far-reaching measures and strict policies.
These policies are rapidly changing as the list of Covid-19 cases grow.
Here are some of the key strategies implemented by some of the most battered nations:
South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Monday that he will enforce a three-week lockdown.
In a televised address to the nation, Ramaphosa said the 21-day lockdown will begin at midnight on Thursday.
“Immediate, swift and extraordinary action is required if we are to avoid human costs of this virus,” said Ramaphosa.
He added that if the nation failed to act swiftly, it could face “a human catastrophe of enormous proportions.”
As of Monday, South Africa had recorded 402 coronavirus new cases, according to the country’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
So far the country has the highest number of cases in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.
Egypt: The number of people infected with coronavirus rose to 366 while the death toll hit 19 on Monday, Egypt’s Ministry of Health said in a statement.
Ministry’s spokesperson Khaled Megahed said 96 patients had recovered.
The Egyptian government closed schools and universities, suspended international flights to the end of March.
All restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, casinos, night clubs, bars, shopping centers (malls), and other local shops will shut down from 7:00 pm to 6:00 pm across the nation as of Thursday until March 31.
Mosques and Islamic places of worship across the country were closed for two weeks starting from March 21, 2020, to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Algeria: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered all state institutions on Sunday to increase their level of vigilance to the maximum level in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The country has reported 230 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 17 people have so far been killed by the respiratory illness.
The president also reportedly ordered the allocation 100 million dollars for importing pharmaceutical products, personal protection equipment and chemical analysis equipment as part of measures to curb its spread.
Tunisia: President Kais Saied on Monday ordered the army to be deployed in the streets to force people to respect a lockdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Tunisia has 89 confirmed cases of the virus and reported three deaths.
The North African country imposed a curfew last week and a general lockdown from Sunday that keeps people in their homes except when they want to buy necessities.
Senegal: The country declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Senegalese President Macky Sall said the state of emergency would start on Tuesday midnight, accompanied by a curfew from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am local time.
President Sall acknowledged that the country was struggling to contain the spread of the virus that has infected 79 people.
“Since the appearance of the first case on 2 March, the government has put in place a plan to stem the progression of the disease. But, obviously, we’re not there yet,” he said.
Eight people have recovered from the illness.
The government is tracking over 1,500 people who are suspected to have been in contact with the confirmed cases.