Latest Developments

South African consumer confidence rebounds, but remains deeply depressed

“The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index posted a 10-point rebound in the third quarter of 2020, to -23. In the previous quarter, it had crashed 24 points to a 35-year-low of -33. Aside from that blow-out, the index is at levels last seen in 1993, suggesting that consumer confidence has been all but shattered.”

via Daily Maverick

Ethiopia to make, export COVID-19 test kits with China’s help

“As COVID-19 cases continued to climb sharply, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health on Sunday announced that the country will start manufacturing its own test kits with China’s help. The announcement came as the Horn of Africa nation passed the mark of one million tests, the third highest in the continent after South Africa and Morocco.”

via The East African

Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases near 1.3m

“The African Union (AU) Commission’s specialised healthcare agency said the number of COVID-19 recoveries in the continent reached 1,031,453. Africa’s total COVID-19 cases represent about five per cent of all cases reported globally, it said.”

via Vanguard (Nigeria)

Nigerian scientists have identified seven lineages of SARS-CoV-2

“It is important to track lineages as they can be very useful for determining how a virus spreads through communities or populations.”

via Quartz Africa

Students Return to School in Morocco Against Backdrop of COVID-19

“The onset of a new school year is usually an exciting time for students, teachers, and parents. This week, however, some seven million primary and secondary students in Morocco are returning to school — some in-person, some online — with the added burden of the COVID-19 crisis.”

via Morocco World News

COVID-19: Morocco Calls for International Help for Developing Countries

“Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Omar Zniber, has called for a coordinated and concerted response to meet the ‘urgent circumstances affecting global trade and development.'”

via Morocco World News

Sierra Leonean technologist’s app helps to fight COVID-19

“The Health Outbreak Manager software consists of an app and a comprehensive suite of tools that help collect and manage data for users and COVID-19 responders. Using live data feeds and user-reported information, officials and health organizations can monitor and manage the status of an outbreak and contain the spread.”

via Sierra Leone Telegraph

COVID-19: WHO says 220m vaccine doses to be tested in Africa

“The distribution of vaccine doses will be based on nation inhabitant numbers and front-line health workers and the most vulnerable being given first-batch priority… The COVAX initiative seeks to contribute to the purchase and equitable distribution of 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of 2021.

via Vanguard (Nigeria)

Egyptian startup turns shipping containers into COVID-19 clinics

“Two Cairo millennials have brought shipping-container architecture to Egypt, converting 20-foot-long metal hulks into everything from pop-up restaurants to corporate offices.”

via Arab News

Kenyan cops cash in on COVID-19

“In Kenya, not wearing a mask in public carries a penalty of 20,000 shillings or six months imprisonment. Since the onset of COVID-19, the government has used the police to enforce health regulations — which has not gone well on several occasions.”

via Mail & Guardian