Be Smart About South Africa

An Update of Africa’s Battle with Coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Beds are seen at a temporary field hospital set up in a sports complex by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Khayelitsha township near Cape Town, South Africa, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic could overwhelm strained public health systems in Africa. On Wednesday, the continent was approaching a million infections and around 21,000 deaths. With more cases than any other country on the continent, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in July re-imposed a curfew and a ban on alcohol sales, both of which are still in effect. He also announced that public schools would again close, this time for four weeks. Classes are due to resume on Aug. 24. In July, Nigeria, a ban on interstate travel was lifted and domestic flights resumed. A date has yet to be announced for the resumption of international flights. Schools were shut in March but were set to reopen for students sitting graduation exams from Aug. 4. The wearing of masks in public is mandatory. It is mandatory to wear a mask in Rwanda. Those who fail to do so face arrest. People must wash their hands at bus stops and in restaurants, banks and shops. Schools, universities and bars are closed nationwide. Only cargo flights have been permitted since March, but commercial flights were set to resume on Aug. 1.  Burkina Faso imposed restrictions after recording its first cases on March 9. But Islamist militants and local militias operate across vast swathes of the country, making it hard for authorities to enforce curbs and assess the spread of the virus.


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