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6 African countries remain covid-19 free

Apr 1, 2020, 1:15 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

Following the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with important combating strategies to avoid the spread of coronavirus, six countries in Africa are still having edge over the pandemic as they are yet to contract the virulent virus declared pandemic since 11 March 2020 by the WHO.

These surviving countries which are neither the richest nor poorest in Africa including Lesotho, Malawi, Sao Tome, Principe, Burundi and South Sudan. Botswana and Sierra Leone couldn’t further hold the fort any longer as the two countries bowed down as Botswana recorded her first 3 cases on 29 March and Sierra Leone 1 case on 30 March respectively.

The six countries’ preparedness for the emergence covid-19 reached the peak immediately since it was declared pandemic by the World Health Organization thereby Sao Tome and Principe on 4 March decided and prohibited people from eight infected countries - Italy, China, Nigeria, Iran, Algeria, South Korea and Senegal entry into the country.

Meanwhile, in Burundi apart from government decision of 31 January to quarantine ‘people suspected of having contracted coronavirus,’ on 12 March, the country’s international airport was first closed for a period of seven days as part of series of measures to prevent coronavirus pandemic entry into the country.

On March 17, the President of South Sudan ordered self-quarantine of all senior government officials who just arrived from countries with confirmed infections and transmission of the pandemic, postponed all gatherings. More so, it placed travel ban on all his newly appointed ministers to prevent them from contracting and spreading coronavirus, while new order was issued for diplomats returning to the country from travel.

In Malawi, the President declared a state of disaster. He banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools, restricted public gatherings, ordered the national security apparatus into action to enforce the restrictions.

In one of The Gambia’s neighbouring countries, Sierra Leone who once suffered from the Ebola virus epidemic did everything possible to avoid importing and contracting covid-19 pandemic before the virus’ final penetration, Monday, 30 March.

In their combat efforts, the government of Sierra Leone prior to 25 March, declared a 12-month public health emergency to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as the President announced that it “is not a lockdown and should not be used as an excuse to hoard goods or hike prices.”

Meanwhile, in spite of The Gambia having recorded four cases - one death with three active cases, the government, Thursday, 19 March further suspended flights from 13 countries with immediate effect until further notice.

In addition to this step taken to combat the spread of the deadly virus, individuals (Gambians & non-Gambians) travelling from 47 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas to The Gambia will undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Presently, coronavirus pandemic has penetrated 200 plus countries with over 800,000 cases worldwide, 39,000 deaths and over 170,000 recovered.