Coronavirus: Chad records no case, shuts airports, borders

African countries have been among the last to be hit by the global coronavirus epidemic but as cases rise, many nations are now taking strict measures to block the deadly illness.

Watching from afar as the disaster unfolds in Asia and Europe – where many are suffering the consequences of being slow to act – some African countries have wasted no time in taking drastic measures.

Air traffic, in particular, has been hard hit as nations across the continent realised their first cases had come from citizens returning from travel abroad in infected countries.

Chad, where no cases have been reported, also shut its airports and borders with affected Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Morocco has stopped all international flights “until further notice” aside from special planes authorised to repatriate European tourists.

Somalia, a country riven by decades of conflict, also banned all international flights – including for cargo – after confirming its first case. Humanitarian flights, however, will be allowed to proceed.

Others are banning flights and travellers depending on their origins.

Senegal has blocked air links with seven European countries and the Middle East. Togo and Madagascar have taken similar measures.

Others like Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Ivory Coast have blocked foreigners from high-risk countries – in some cases allowing those who hold resident permits.

Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea are among those insisting on self-quarantine for travellers from high-risk countries.

Tourism has been hard-hit, including the cruise industry with ships blocked by many countries including Madagascar, Senegal, Seychelles and Mauritius. AFP

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