Coronavirus: 2 African presidents defy own travel bans as cases soar above 1,000
Africa’s cases of the coronavirus rose above 1,000 on Saturday while two heads of state appeared to defy their own travel restrictions to attend another president’s inauguration.
Angola announced its first cases, meaning at least 40 of Africa’s 54 countries are now affected. Congo reported its first death; Burkina Faso reported two new ones.
Somalia said it’s lifting its ban on international flights for two days so stranded citizens can come home. And Ethiopia’s electoral authorities discussed the virus’ effect on a major national election later this year.
Angola closed its air, land and sea borders this week, but Namibian media showed President Joao Lourenco at the inauguration of Namibian President Hage Geingob.
Also in attendance was President Mokgweetsi Masisi of neighbouring Botswana, which this week suspended international travel by all government employees.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa also was there. He announced a national disaster even before his country confirmed its first virus case on Friday. On Saturday, his country announced the first case in the capital, Harare.
Burkina Faso now has the most virus deaths of any country in sub-Saharan Africa. The West African nation has one of the highest caseloads on the continent with 64.
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