African coronavirus cases exceed 2,000

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Forty-three of Africa’s 54 countries now have cases of coronavirus, with the total at 2,046, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Small businesses expect to suffer. And that pain could grow across Africa as more countries impose tougher measures. Economies are expected to take a severe hit as borders close and trade drops.

Africa needs a $150 billion emergency financing package, Ethiopia’s government said in a proposal to the G20 global forum for economic cooperation ahead of the G20 summit.

Rwanda and Tunisia also have announced lockdowns. In South Africa, determined shoppers are making their last runs for supplies as authorities try to reassure the public that food will not run out.

Workers across South Africa will be required to stay home except for those in essential services including health care and security as well as the production and distribution of food, utilities and medical products.

Elsewhere in Africa, the West African nation of Niger recorded its first virus-related death. Authorities said a 63-year-old man who was brought to a hospital Monday tested positive for the virus after he died Tuesday. Niger’s health minister also reported three new cases, bringing the country’s total to six.

South Sudan closed its borders as the country struggling to rebuild from a five-year civil war tried to prevent the virus from arriving. Some senior government officials and others were not complying with orders to be checked for fever at the airport in the capital, Juba, said the undersecretary in the health ministry, Dr. Makur Matur Koriom.

Nigeria’s ban on international flights began. And Zimbabwe’s president said the country was closing its borders to all but returning residents.

Read more via AP

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