In South Africa, the government has warned of a long drawn out battle against the deadly coronavirus. Sub-Saharan Africa experienced its second coronavirus related death on March 20. According to reports, despite stringent measures like flight bans to school closures, there have been two deaths in three days in the countries south of the Sahara and the number of infected has tripled in a week.
As per reports, the central African state of Gabon reported its first coronavirus death of a 50-year-old man, this was followed by the death of a 62-year-old woman in Burkina Faso. Both the victims had diabetes. The total number of cases across Africa has crossed 900 and continues to rise fast. Madagascar and Zimbabwe reported on March 20 that they had 3 and one cases respectively.
South Africa has seen a drastic increase in cases, from only one confirmed case two weeks ago to 202 cases as of March 20. The country has the highest number of infected in the sub-continent. According to reports, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned that the virus could likely affect up to 60 per cent of the population. He also added that the infection will not affect 60 per cent of the population at the same time and all cases will not be serious.
South African Airways has suspended all regional and international flights until the end of May, this move is in-line with a government-imposed travel ban that aims at curbing the spread of the virus.
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 11,421 lives across the world and has infected over 2,76,293 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy and Iran are the other countries that are most affected by the virus outbreak.