Africa: Coronavirus Cases Across Africa Now Over 600

Hand washing is crucial in the fight against COVID-19.

African countries on Wednesday confirmed 644 cases of coronavirus, 17 deaths, and 65 recoveries according to Worldometer.

On Wednesday, 119 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the continent.

Nigeria

Nigeria confirmed five new cases that are independent of the previous three cases.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said that all five cases had a travel history to UK and U.S.

In response to the increase in the spread of the virus the Lagos State Government said on Wednesday that it may "advise religious leaders in the state to stop Friday and Sunday services as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus."

Mr Ehanire also said the detailed travel history of the newly confirmed cases is being compiled to enable the government trace people that might have come in contact with them.

The youngest patient is a 6-week-old baby.

Nigeria also announced travel restrictions from 13 high-risk countries: China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, USA, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

The restrictions will take effect on March 31.

On Tuesday, Nigeria banned foreign travels for all public officials. They are only allowed to travel for essential trips.

Egypt

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, on Wednesday, announced on its Facebook page 14 new positive cases.

The new cases are two foreigners and 12 Egyptians, who had all come in contact with earlier positive cases.

Advisor of the Minister of Health and Population for Media Affairs, Khaled Majahid stated that "the total number that was registered in Egypt with the new Coronavirus until today, Wednesday, 210 cases, including 28 cases that have been cured and discharged from the isolation hospital, and 6 deaths."

The Egyptian Health Ministry also said that they "continue to raise preparations at all ports of the country, follow the situation firsthand and take all necessary preventive measures against any viruses or infectious diseases."

Egypt has the highest number of cases on the continent.

South Africa

The official South African News Agency confirmed through a tweet that the country had 31 new cases. Of the 31, six cases were that of local transmission.

Their ages range from 2-69 according to a report written by South African Minister of Health, Zwelini Mkhize.

He said, "Today we have a further increase of 6 local transmission cases. As part of tracking and tracing, we have collated background information on how these patients were infected."

"We will provide information to the public, so as to give a sense of how these local transmission work. We will however not disclose full details as this information is subject to patient confidentiality which we are bound by."

Confirmed cases in Africa

Below are the countries with confirmed cases in Africa and their total number of cases according to Wordometer on March 18

Algeria 75; 7 deaths; 32 recoveries

Benin 2

Burkina Faso 20; 1 death

Cameroon 13

Central African Republic 1

Republic of Congo 1

Ivory Coast 9; 1 death

Democratic Republic of the Congo 7

Egypt 210; 6 deaths; 28 recoveries

Equatorial Guinea 4

Swaziland 1

Ethiopia 6

Gabon 3

Ghana 7

Guinea 1

Kenya 7

Liberia 2

Morocco 54; 2 deaths; 1 recovery

Mauritania 3

Mauritius 3

Namibia 2

Nigeria 8; 1 recovery

Rwanda 11

Sudan 2

Senegal 36; 2 recoveries

Somalia 1

Seychelles 6

Tunisia 29; 1 recovery

Tanzania 3

Togo 1

South Africa 116

Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Rwanda, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, Sudan, Mauritania, Tanzania, and DRC has each recorded at least one new case of the COVID-19 virus.

Burkina Faso is the first sub-Saharan country in the continent to confirm a death.

The second vice president of the Burkinabé Parliament and co-founder of the opposition Union for Progress and Change (UPC), Marie Rose Compaoré/ Konditamdé passed away Tuesday night after testing positive for the virus.

She suffered from diabetes and was under intensive care.

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