34 African countries under full border closure due to COVID-19: AU

KABALE DISTRICT, UGANDA - NOVEMBER 14: The Ugandan side of the Katuna-Gatuna Border Post on November 14 2019, in Katuna, Uganda. A long-term diplomatic dispute between Rwanda and Uganda has stopped almost all local border movements between the two countries. This affects the daily life of families on both sides of the border. Only Ugandan citizens are permitted to cross providing they are not trading or carrying commercial goods. Despite the Rwandan government imposing bans of goods crossing either way, reports suggest that citizens of both countries continue to cross the porous border to look for food; often with deadly consequences. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
A medical staff member measures a man’s temperature as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus on his arrival of repatriation in Gatumba, on border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Burundi, on March 18, 2020. (Photo by ONESPHORE NIBIGIRA / AFP)

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Tuesday said that 34 African countries are under full border closure due to concerns related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Africa.

The Africa CDC, specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) Commission, disclosed in its COVID-19 situation update issued on Tuesday that some 34 African countries are still under “full border closure” while 11 countries have instituted entry/exit restrictions due to the spread of the virus.

The continental disease control and prevention agency also stressed that night-time curfew has been activated across 34 countries in an effort to halt the spread of the infectious virus.

The Africa CDC, however, stressed that some 31 countries are easing the mitigation measures, by allowing more movement outside the home, more businesses allowed to open, and religious institutions have also been allowed to exercise “limited gatherings”.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases across the African continent reached 859,237 as the death toll from the pandemic rose to 18,160, according to the latest figures from the Africa CDC.

The Africa CDC also said that some 506,534 people who were infected with COVID-19 had recovered across the continent so far.

According to the Africa CDC, some African countries still allow cargo, freight and emergency transport into and out of their respective countries, and some AU members allow citizens and residents to enter but all borders are essentially closed.

The Africa CDC also stressed that 13 African countries are under national lockdown, restricting non-essential movements across their respective territories. Partial lockdown is underway across 22 African countries, according to the Africa CDC.

It also noted that 54 African countries are practicing limited public gathering, and some 36 countries have exercised country-wide closure of educational institutions.

Amid growing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 across countries in Africa, 41 countries are practicing mandatory public use of face masks, it noted.