More African countries lift lockdown restrictions to arrest faltering economy
London, May 4, 2020 (AltAfrica)-After weeks of lockdown occasioned by global outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, African countries have began gradual easing of the restrictions in an attempt to arrest economic damages
Ghana is the first in Africa and one of the first countries worldwide to ease lockdown on movement during the pandemic
Life is gradually returning to more countries like Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and many more will follow in few days
After four weeks of lockdown, Nigeria has begun easing restrictions in its capital Abuja and in Lagos, its largest city, marking the reopening of Africa’s biggest economy
In a national broadcast last week, Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari said he made the decision after reviewing the four-week lockdown to allow the country’s economy to operate and still keep a steady response in containing the virus.
Rwanda has also loosened restrictions after 45 days of coronavirus lockdown, even though a nationwide night-time curfew will be enforced and movement in and out of the capital, Kigali, is prohibited.
On Monday, roads in Kigali were busy again, in a city considered to be a hotspot for infections. People are adhering to mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.
Monday is the first working day of eased restrictions in South Africa as many taxi ranks resume operations as commuters queued to board vehicles to work.
The country begun what it has termed as level-four lockdown.
In these countries, people have been allowed to return to work but they still have to keep their distance from each other, wear masks and wash their hand
Many are happy that normal life has resumed but there is discontent that fares in public transport have been hiked after buses were ordered to carry half of their capacity to ensure social distancing
Bars, sports facilities, schools and churches remain closed.
Meanwhile, the recent mass deaths reported in Nigeria’s Kano state have been linked to coronavirus by the head of the presidential task force.
Nasiru Sani Gwarzo told journalists that samples taken from bodies that were yet to be buried turned positive.
He said initial mapping showed that the virus may have spread as people visited the sick and attended burials.
“It is necessary for people of Kano to wake up from their slumber… this is a serious issue,” he was quoted as saying by local media.
The mysterious deaths were first mentioned by grave diggers who noticed an increase in burials at the cemetery. The Kano state government initially linked the deaths to underlying medical conditions.