from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA – ALARM is growing in Africa after the continent recorded its 10 000th case of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The number was reached on Tuesday.
With South Sudan the latest country on the continent to confirm a case on Sunday, there remain just three African countries who have yet to report a case of the virus.
These are Comoros, Lesotho as well as Sao Tome and Principe.
African governments are making significant efforts to respond to this growing pandemic but the number of cases in Africa has been increasing massively since March.
The total caseload on the continent doubled from just over 5 000 to 10 000 in the space of a week.
Children’s rights groups have lamented that governments in the region were focusing on limiting the spread of the COVID-19 with increased restrictions.
However, these measures disproportionately impact the poorest households, who depend on the informal economy for their already fragile livelihoods.
Eric Hazard, Save the Children’s Campaign and Advocacy Director for Africa, said the organisation was concerned that mounting financial pressures on families would increase food insecurity in communities already struggling with food.
“This in turn will have a devastating impact on children,” Hazard said.
He said as COVID-19 started to impact on the economy, the loss of parental income and closure of schools might force children to beg for food or take hazardous jobs to support their families.
It is also feared these challenges would expose children, especially girls, to unprotected sex, exploitation and child marriage.
As of Wednesday, there were over 1,4 million total global cases of COVID-19 and 82 421 deaths.
– CAJ News