How African Countries Are Easing Up To Manage The Coronavirus Pandemic

by Duke Magazine

Africa’s narrative with respect to the effect of the novel coronavirus on its people is far from the envision of many experts who predicted a hard-hit of the infectious disease on the Black continent. 

The continent of more than 1.2 billion people has had a successful track record of pulling through the seemingly high rate of fatality to achieve considerably less figures. According to the African Union Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total number of 1,293,048 confirmed cases has been recorded, with 1,031,905 recovered, and 31,082 deaths as of September 6, 2020. South Africa contributes the highest percentage of these cases, as the worst hit in Africa.

The low number of infections and deaths on the continent have triggered questions from public health experts and other stakeholders. Recently, the curiosity for these answers got the BBC into trouble after the news service suggested in a headline that Africa’s low death rate could be as a result of poverty on the continent.

Now, as countries try to go through what has become the latest norm, here is a look on how major African countries are going on with their endeavors living with COVID-19.

Kenya ??

Kenya announced in July that international air transport will resume on August 1 as part of a phased reopening. The country’s economy was severely dented by four months of low productivity occasioned by restrictive policies such as a lockdown in Nairobi and Mombasa. 

Pressure was piled on the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to meet struggling Kenyans halfway even as the country tried to keep infection rate as low as it could be. Authorities yielded and now, Kenyans in small and medium scale businesses can resume their businesses provided they observe safety protocols.

However, Kenyan schools with the exception of universities, will reopen in January and every student is expected to repeat their class.

Ghana ??

Ghana’s schools non-tertiary schools are also expected to open in January. University students have been allowed to go back to school to complete terms that were derailed midway in March.

With the exception of nightclubs and cinemas, most of Ghana’s entertainment and public centers have now opened under strict COVID-19 protocols. Offices that sent home their workers to work are also increasingly returning to running fully-staffed workspaces.

While Ghana’s only international airport is opened, its land borders with Burkina Faso, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire remain closed.

South Africa ??

In South Africa, the coronavirus revealed the underbelly of sub-Sahara Africa’s best economy. South Africa, one of the world’s most unequal countries, has struggled to offer its poor the opportunities to live through the pandemic with dignity.

But under a four-part reopening scheme, the country has looked to increase productivity as restrictions are lessened and testing for the virus intensifies.

The government now says: “Restaurants, take-aways, and food establishments are allowed to open for delivery and collection of food. Sit-down meals are allowed with strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures. All restaurants must adhere to the curfew of 22:00. Alcohol sales is permitted in line with stipulated legislation.”

Many offices in commercial centers are back at work while the government remains cautious about international flights coming into the country.

Nigeria ??

In the case of Nigeria, there has been phased gradual easing of lockdown, especially in the nation’s capital, Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States. Economic activities are fully back in operation with safety measures put in place to ensure adequate compliance with presidential task force’s guidelines. The lockdown costs the Nigeria’s economy to shrink by approximately 6 percent. The country has opened her international airspace as ‘selected flights’ are allowed to come into the country from ‘specific countries’. With the full reopening of worship centers, schools in major cities are expected to open by late-September, 2020 to continue with their academic year after the coronavirus hiatus since March 2020.

Recently, the number confirmed cases of coronavirus are considerably reducing in the country with the figures lessening to a few hundred on daily reports.

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