The novel COVID-19 pandemic which broke out in Wuhan, China last December has in recent weeks gained much ground in Africa with cases rising sporadically across the continent. Most confirmed cases in African countries are as a result of expatriates, government officials or upper-class citizens who returned or came in direct contact with returnees from high-risk countries.
According to CNBC, on the 24th of March 2020, there were a total of 43 African Countries infected with coronavirus with 2,046 positive cases. About 58 deaths have been recorded from countries like Algeria, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ghana and Mauritius amongst others.
The coronavirus which has no regard for social status or position has claimed the lives of several notable Africans across the continent. Famous Zimbabwean broadcaster Zororo Makamba died of coronavirus earlier this week just 3 days after he was tested positive. Makamba who was receiving treatment for myasthenia gravis caused his immune system to be weak and rendered him vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection. Makamba’s death was a wake-up call to politicians, health professionals, and other Zimbabweans to take the virus seriously. The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, therefore, urged the government to shut down outpatient departments across hospitals in the country so that they can focus only on emergency cases.
Similarly, Cameroon-born singer and saxophone player Manu Dibango died from a coronavirus infection on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The founder of Funk who influenced International singers like Michael Jackson (King of pop) and Rihanna died at the age of 86 in a Paris hospital while receiving treatment.
With top government officials in Burkina Faso testing positive to the coronavirus. Rose-Marie Compaorea lawmaker and vice-president of the national assembly was the first death case recorded in the country early this month.
Amidst several people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic across the African continent, governments of different countries are intensifying safety measures and imposing restrictions to curb further spread of the virus. Measures like travel bans, border closures, lockdowns, curfews, and social-distancing have been adopted by almost all countries in the African continent.
Meanwhile, Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the Nigerian president tested positive for coronavirus according to multiple sources on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Reuters reported that the gatekeeper to President Muhammadu Buhari had a history of medical complications, including diabetes.