…As 2,746 cases confirmed in 46 countries – CDC***
…FG may ban inter-state, inter-town travels***
The death toll from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the African continent has reached 72 as confirmed positive cases surpassed 2,746 on Thursday, the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) revealed.
The Africa CDC, specialised agency of the 55-member African Union (AU), in its latest situation update, revealed 16 African countries have so far reported 72 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Africa CDC, the coronavirus-affected African countries include South Africa with 709 cases, Egypt with 456, Algeria with 302 and Morocco with 225 cases.
Africa CDC also disclosed that some 210 people, who have been infected with the COVID-19, have been recovered across 14 countries.
Amid the rapid spread of the virus across the African continent, figures from the Africa CDC also show that over 334 new confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported across the continent since the centre’s recent report on Wednesday.
According to the Africa CDC, the number of deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 72 from 64 that was reported on Wednesday.
However, the Africa CDC also said the number of people, who have recovered from the virus, has also increased from 203 to 225.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government says it is considering stopping inter-state and inter-town travels, except for essential services, among measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a media briefing to give an update on the measures being taken by the government to tackle the pandemic.
“We are considering tougher measures to stop the exportation of the disease to states that do not have it and minimise spread.
“The possible measures include, stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services and closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations.
“Already, all train movements nationwide have been stopped.
“We are also considering using fire fighting and other adaptable vehicles and personnel to fumigate cities and towns,” he said.
The minister stressed that time is running out and there is the need to take urgent and more aggressive measures at preventing the pandemic.
“We have a short window within which to stop this pandemic or face an explosion in terms of the cases. We cannot afford to be complacent,” he said.
Mohammed confirmed that the strategies so far taken at containing the pandemic were working, though there is still a long way to go.
“We have taken very bold measures in stopping international flights into the country.
“We hail the state governments that have taken equally bold measures in their states, which include the closure of markets and the prohibition of large congregations.
“However, we are determined to be more aggressive in enforcing the measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
“The measures are; Social distancing, Contact tracing, Testing, Isolation of suspected cases and ensuring that our messaging gets down to the grassroots,” he said.
Mohammed hailed the decision of five domestic airlines; Air Peace, Aero, Azman, Dana and Arik to suspend their flight operations.
He said the suspension was a boost for the efforts of the government to check the spread of the pandemic.