43 African countries under border closure as Covid-19 cases top 225 000
Addis Ababa - As Covid-19 cases surpassed 225 105 across the African continent on Saturday, 43 African countries are now under full border closure due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The death toll from the pandemic has reached 6040, while some 102 846 people have recovered, according to the latest data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The Africa CDC said that the northern African region is the most affected area across the continent both in terms of positive Covid-19 cases and the number of deaths.
The highly affected African countries include South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Djibouti, Nigeria, and Algeria, according to the specialised healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission.
Some countries on Saturday reported new records for their daily increases in Covid-19 infections. Egypt registered 1677 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest daily surge so far, raising the national count to 42 980, the Egyptian health ministry said. The country has also reported a record single-day increase of 62 in Covid-19 deaths, taking the death toll to 1484, said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry's spokesman.
Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation with a population of about 107 million, reported 268 new cases on Saturday, the highest daily increase so far, taking the country's tally to 3166, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said.
South Africa is still the worst-hit country on the continent, having registered a total of 65 736 cases and 1423 deaths so far, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally.
In addition to the 43 countries under full border closure, the Africa CDC also said on Saturday that night-time curfew has been activated across 35 countries in an effort to halt the spread of the infectious virus.
Some seven countries have imposed international air traffic closures, while two countries have imposed travel restrictions to and from specific countries, and two others have also activated entry/exit restrictions, according to the Africa CDC.
It added that some countries still allow cargo, freight and emergency transport into and out of their respective countries, and some AU member countries still allow citizens and residents to enter, but all borders are essentially closed.
It also noted that 54 African countries are practicing limited public gathering, some 38 countries have exercised country-wide closure of educational institutions, while limited prison and hospital visits has been also ordered across 20 countries. Amid growing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 across the continent, some 18 countries have also initiated mass screening and testing, while 41 countries are practicing mandatory public use of face masks, the agency said.