AFP/Reuters /Cape Town
South Africa yesterday announced two more coronavirus deaths and 43 new confirmed cases, bringing to tally in Africa’s worst-affected country up to 1,505 infections and seven deaths.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who released the latest figures, said the figure was likely to be underestimated due to testing limits.
“I want to raise the point that this number is affected by...
the limitations of the active testing that we are doing,” said Mkhize during a press conference in Cape Town.
“When we extend the testing...
we actually expect these numbers to increase.”
South Africa launched mass door-to-door screening and testing for coronavirus this week, with 10,000 field workers deployed across the country of 57mn people. The testing exercise will prioritise impoverished areas and overcrowded townships, where citizens are struggling to adhere to a 21-day lockdown imposed to halt the spread of infections.
Mkhize said it was too early to tell whether the nation-wide shutdown, which came into force last Friday, was having its desired effect.
“We need a lot more data that are going to show us the various trends of what is going on,” he added.
To date coronavirus has infected more than 7,000 people in Africa and killed close to 300.
South Africa’s latest victims were an 80-year-old man and an 81-year-old woman from the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.
NIGERIAN SHOT DEAD
A Nigerian man has been shot dead for allegedly flouting a stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police and a lawmaker said yesterday, AFP reported.
Nigeria has introduced a raft of measures, including lockdowns of major cities, to try to contain the virus, which has infected 184 people, two of them fatally.
Joseph Pessu, a resident of the oil city of Warri in the southern state of Delta, was killed on Thursday by a soldier deployed to enforce the lockdown, the sources said.
“The incident occurred yesterday with the youths protesting,” state police spokesman Onome Onowakpoyeya said.
Angry young people lit fires in the streets but police later restored calm, he said.
In a statement late Thursday, the lawmaker representing the area condemned the incident and called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted.
“Those who are authorised to bear arms in defence of the nation ought to understand that this comes with responsibility, especially when human life is sacrosant,” said Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Sandra Dozie has a fluffy new friend to keep her company during the long tedious hours of a lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus — a four-month old rabbit called Coco, Reuters reported.
“My family and I got bored of just being alone at home, so we wanted someone that will be there to play with and mess around with,” said Dozie, 27, as she gently stroked Coco’s white and brown fur.
Dozie, whose employer shut down a week ago due to the pandemic, was speaking on the roof terrace of her home in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and home to 20 mn people, but now the usually bustling, noisy streets below are eerily quiet. Nigeria has reported 190 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far, 98 of them in Lagos, where a lockdown has been declared, forcing millions to stay at home.
But the lockdown has had a silver lining for Akinjo Joshua, manager of online store Hopsville Farm, who has seen sales rocket as Nigerians seek comfort and companionship from cute, furry pets.
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