Egypt on Thursday reported 39 new coronavirus cases and three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the total number of infections to 495, including 24 fatalities.

The new cases are all Egyptians who were in contact with other patients, with the exception of one Libyan man. The three dead are all Egyptians from Cairo, a 30-year woman and two men aged 78 and 72 years.

The statement added that 102 of the people infected had recovered and been released from a quarantine hospital.

Egypt on Tuesday declared a two-week curfew from 7 PM to 6 AM to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In the video below, the WHO says it hopes government lockdowns flatten curve of outbreak:

Africa’s window to curb coronavirus

About half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa still have a “narrowing” opportunity to curb the spread of coronavirus in the local population, a World Health Organisation regional official said.

The virus has multiplied across Africa more slowly than in Asia or Europe, but more than 40 nations on the continent have now reported a total of 2 850 with 73 fatalities, according to a Reuters tally.

On Thursday, Kenya confirmed the death of its first patient over coronavirus, government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna told Reuters.

“It has been a very dramatic evolution,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Africa head, told a media teleconference on Thursday.

In the video below, SABC’s Sarah Kimani gives update on East Africa:

SA coronavirus cases exceed 1 000

Cases of coronavirus in South Africa passed 1 000 on Friday, the health ministry said, while also reporting its first two deaths on the first day of a three-week, nationwide lockdown.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, which saw Africa’s most industrialised economy largely shudder to a halt overnight, earlier this week.

“This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” the health ministry said in a statement, adding cases had risen to more than 1,000, from 927 on Thursday.

Both deaths had occurred in the southernmost province of Western Cape, with one in a public hospital and the other in a private hospital, the statement read.

The 21-day lockdown came into force at midnight on Thursday, and largely confines people to their homes aside from specific purposes like buying food or for health emergencies.

However, local media on Friday morning showed pictures of bustling streets and long queues outside supermarkets in poor townships – where cramped, squalid conditions make social distancing near impossible, and mean the virus could spread quickly among people reliant on an ailing public health system.

In the video below, SA sex workers say they want to be included in the government relief fund: