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Africa Covid-19 update: Burundi, Botswanna, Sierra Leone confirm index cases

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Sierra Leone has confirmed its first Covid-19 case, after a 37-year-old male travelled from France on March 16 via Air Brussels.

Prior to this confirmation, Sierra Leone was the only West African State to have zero cases.

President Julius Bio confirmed the case on national television. He said “the health condition of the patient in quarantine is stable.”

The patient is currently in quarantine.

On March 25, Mr Bio declared a 12-month public health emergency in a bid to tackle the pandemic.

A report according to africanews states that so far

– 719 persons have been quarantined from February;

– 383 persons have been released from quarantine;

– 336 persons are currently in quarantine; and

– 66 of the quarantined persons are self-quarantined.

Burundi also confirmed its two index cases on Tuesday.

Both patients, 56 and 42 years of age, according to the minister of health Thadee Ndikumana are Burundians “who had arrived from Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates via Rwanda.”

Both patients are under quarantine at “an isolation hotel in Bujumbura.”

The health minister urged the public to “embrace hygiene and social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Botswana also confirmed its first three cases of Covid-19 on Monday night. The patients had previously travelled abroad, then tested positive.

This confirmation has led the president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, to declare an indefinite state of emergency, which will take effect at 12 a.m. on Thursday.

He said “the return of some of our citizens and residents from high risk countries has also escalated the threat of the virus in our country. Therefore, after consultations with the relevant stakeholders, it has become clear to me that it is necessary to declare a state of emergency for the purpose of taking appropriate and stringent measures to address the risks posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

According to the president, people would not be allowed outside their homes except for essential services during the state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Tanzania recorded its first death.

A 49-year-old Tanzanian died of the virus in Mlonganzila, Dar es Salam.

Tanzania has a total of 19 confirmed cases.

In Mozambique, the president, Filipe Nyusi, declared a state of emergency on Monday night.

It is expected to last from 12:00 AM Wednesday until the end of April.

“As from April 1, all meetings except state events and unspecified “social” occasions are banned. This covers all political, cultural, sporting and recreational activities, and all religious ceremonies.”

There are now 5814 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Africa according to worldometer.

Five countries in Africa are yet to confirm a single case of the virus. They are Comoros, Lesotho, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and South Sudan.


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