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Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020

Aspect of the coronavirus outbreak

Top 10 Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 related articles

This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.

Please note that the regional global responses are categorized by six WHO offices: Africa, Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, South East Asia, Europes, and Americas.

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 Intro articles: 139

Reactions and measures at the United Nations

1 April

The World Health Organization reported that deaths from COVID-19 had more than doubled in the previous week and would soon reach 50,000 globally, with the global caseload heading towards one million.[1]

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs reported in a new analysis that the global economy could shrink by up to one per cent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or even further if restrictions on economic activities were continued without sufficient fiscal responses.[2]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) outlined a series of measures the UNHCR was taking to respond to the coronavirus public health emergency and prevent further spread, especially those to reinforce health and the ‘WASH’ systems (water, sanitation and hygiene), including distributing soap and increasing water access.[3]

The Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund warned that an outbreak of COVID-19 in the world's refugee camps was “looking imminent”.[4]

The UNHCR and International Organization for Migration emphasized that the worldwide COVID-19 emergency was compounding the already desperate situation for many refugees and migrants from Venezuela.[5]

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia issued a new policy brief noting COVID-19 would be responsible for pushing a further 8.3 million people in the Arab region into poverty.[6]

The UN system in Nigeria announced that it was working with its partners to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, especially in the northeast, where communities and camps house millions of internally displaced people uprooted by the Boko Haram insurgency.[7]

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas urged governments to support national early warning and weather observing capacities despite the “severe challenges” caused by COVID-19, as the WMO's Global Observing System came under strain due to the lack of data from commercial airliners.[8]

2 April

The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/RES/74/270: Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[9]

The United Nations postponed the COP26 climate summit postponed to ‘safeguard lives’.[10]

The International Organization for Migration sounded the alarm over conditions in crowded reception centres in Greece as the first migrants tested positive for COVID-19.[11]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, warned of the plight of hundreds of thousands of now unemployed migrant workers in India, calling for ‘domestic solidarity’ in the coronavirus battle.[12]

The World Food Programme (WFP) warned that food insecurity levels for five million people in the Sahel region of Africa were “spiralling out of control”, with the COVID-19 pandemic potentially impacting humanitarian supply chains.[13]

On World Autism Awareness Day, the UN Secretary-General appealed for the rights of persons with autism to be taken into account in efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.[14]

3 April

In a joint statement, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) and the World Health Organization stressed that "refugees, migrants and displaced persons are at heightened risk of contracting the new coronavirus disease" as health systems threatened to be overwhelmed.[15]

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet welcomed the decision by many governments to release hundreds of thousands of prisoners to slow the transmission of the new coronavirus within prison systems.[16]

The UN Secretary-General warned of a surge in domestic violence due to lockdowns.[17]

The World Food Programme (WFP) released a major report, “COVID-19: Potential impact on the world’s poorest people: A WFP analysis of the economic and food security implications of the pandemic”, noting that the global food chain was holding, while pointing out that food exports by major producers could be impacted if the exporting countries panicked.[18]

The UN Secretary-General reiterated his call for a global ceasefire and urged unity in mobilizing "every ounce of energy" to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.[19]

4 April

The UN chief of peacekeeping operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix stressed that UN peacekeepers were continuing in their mission to help fragile countries navigate conflict and COVID-19, as he echoed the Secretary-General's call for an immediate global ceasefire.[20]

The United Nations reported it was forced to significantly scale back its activities on Mine Awareness Day, which usually involves football games on cleared minefields.[21]

6 April

The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent warned that structural discrimination could be worsening inequalities surrounding access to healthcare and treatment, potentially leading to a rise in disease and death rates among people of African descent.[22]

The World Health Organization teamed up with Global Citizen to launch ‘One World Together At Home”, a global television and streaming event curated by Lady Gaga, to celebrate frontline health care workers in their battle against the pandemic.[23]

UNESCO invited young innovators, data scientists and designers, especially those now out of school, to join a month-long hackathon, CodeTheCurve, to provide digital solutions to the global pandemic.[24]

On the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, as millions of people were stuck indoors, the World Health Organization urged people to continue to practice sport and exercise, through its #BeActive campaign.[25]

7 April

On World Health Day, the World Health Organization and UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the work of the world's medical professionals and urged greater support for nurses and other frontline workers, as well as concern over the lack of personal protective equipment and intimidation and threats.[26]

Yacoub El Hillo, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya echoed the UN Secretary General's call for a global ceasefire and demanded fighting stop immediately if the country was to have any chance of warding off the COVID-19 outbreak, as he condemned an attack on a major Tripoli hospital.[27]

Independent UN human rights experts called on UN Member States to improve child protection measures to protect the welfare of "millions of children who may be more exposed to violence, sale, trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation" during the pandemic.[28]

8 April

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of COVID-19 cases in Africa had now increased to over 10,000, with over 500 dead.[29]

Responding to criticism, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against politicizing COVID-19 as unity is the “only option” to defeat the pandemic, emphasizing, “please quarantine politicizing COVID".[30] He outlined five main reasons why countries need the WHO.[31]

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged global support for the World Health Organization (WHO), describing the UN health agency, which has led the multilateral response since the beginning, as “absolutely critical” in overcoming COVID-19.[32]

9 April

The UN Secretary-General welcomed a ceasefire declaration by Saudi Arabia in Yemen as a way to contribute towards his global ceasefire call, promote peace and slow the advance of COVID-19.[33]

100 days since the advent of COVID-19, the WHO Director-General announced the publication of WHO's technical strategy update for the next phase of the COVID-19 response, the basis for its Second Preparedness and Response Plan, to be released shortly.[34]

The UN Secretary-General launched a new policy brief on women and equality and issued a dire warning that the pandemic could reverse gains in equality over previous years.[35]

In the 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, the UN-led Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development warned that billions of people in countries on the brink of economic collapse due to COVID-19 are being threatened further by a looming debt crisis, presenting recommendations based on joint research and analysis from more than 60 UN agencies and international institutions.[36]

10 April

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus laid out six factors for consideration when lifting lockdowns, including that transmission is controlled and sufficient public health and medical services are available.[37]

11 April

The UN Secretary-General called on religious leaders of all faiths to join forces and work for global peace and focus on the common battle to defeat COVID-19.[38]

In a joint appeal, the five UN envoys to the Middle East urged the region's warring parties to work towards an immediate end to hostilities, emphasizing the Secretary-General's recent call for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.[39]

13 April

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), outlined the agency's latest advice, stressing a mix of social distancing, testing, contact tracing and isolation.[40]

The World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other health partners supporting the Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) warned that over 117 million children in 37 countries risked missing out on a measles vaccine.[41]

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned that hundreds of thousands of children in detention were at “grave risk” of contracting COVID-19, calling for their urgent release.[42]

UNESCO warned of unreliable and false information about the COVID-19 pandemic, terming it a global ‘disinfodemic’.[43]

14 April

The first of the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO) “Solidarity Flights” carried urgently needed medical equipment to Africa, part of a UN-wide initiative.[44]

The UN Secretary-General warned of “a dangerous epidemic of misinformation” during “the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War”, leaving millions scared and seeking clear advice.[45]

The UN Secretary-General urged unity and called for countries not to cut the resources of the World Health Organization (WHO), as US President Trump halted funding.[46]

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), warned of online predators putting millions of children at risk during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.[47]

Forecasting the “worst economic downturn since the Great Depression”, the International Monetary Fund reported that growth for 2020 was likely to be minus three per cent, a dramatic change since the previous World Economic Outlook report in January.[48]

Imran Riza, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, warned of a major threat from the coronavirus threat, which had initiated a broad UN containment effort.[49]

15 April

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated it was reviewing the impact of the United States (US) withholding funding and upheld the importance of international solidarity in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic one day after the US announced that it was cutting funding, pending a review of how the WHO responded to the initial outbreak in China.[50]

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a potential “second wave” of COVID-19 infections in an update to its strategic advice to governments, as some European countries began to relax lockdown measures.[51]

The International Organization for Migration expanded the scope of its Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to include major interventions aiming to mitigate the severe health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.[52]

Secretary-General António Guterres pledged that the UN would stand in solidarity with Africa in the face of the unprecedented economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, from procuring test kits to promoting debt relief.[53]

David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, appealed for countries not to respond to COVID-19 by lower environmental standards.[54]

16 April

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a new UN report noting that the looming global recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic could cause hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing recent gains in reducing global infant mortality.[55]

17 April

The head of the UN children's fund UNICEF warned that 250 million children globally living in the “waking nightmare” of conflict desperately needed warring parties to adopt the UN Secretary General's call for a global ceasefire as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads.[56]

Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, warned that the United States must take urgent additional steps to prevent tens of millions of middle-class Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic from being “plunged into poverty”.[57]

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, warned that tourism, which accounts for 10 per cent of global GDP, could lose millions of jobs but offered potential for an economic recovery.[58]

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued new guidance setting out key actions to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people against discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic.[59]

19 April

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged the G20 leading global economies to plan to ease lockdowns against COVID-19 only as part of “a phased process”.[60]

UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a video message in support of the UN-supported 'One World: Together At Home' event.[61]

20 April

The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/RES/74/274: International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19, urging swift access to vaccines.[62][63]

The World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated its stance on the lifting of lockdown measures, stating, “We want to re-emphasize that easing restrictions is not the end of the epidemic in any country”.[64]

The heads of multiple major UN humanitarian agencies and offices, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), launched an urgent appeal for $350 million to support global aid hubs to help those vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.[65]

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi issued a joint statement pledging to accelerate work to expand refugee children's access to protection, education, clean water and sanitation.[66]

The UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched the Rural Poor Stimulus Facility, which aims to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on farmers and rural communities in developing countries.[67]

Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, warned of the urgent need to protect “refugee, displaced and stateless women and girls at the time of this pandemic”.[68]

21 April

A new study on food insecurity by an alliance of UN, governmental, and non-governmental agencies (Global Network Against Food Crises) warned that the COVID-19 pandemic was perpetuating a downward cycle of acute food insecurity for around 135 million people across 55 countries.[69]

Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley warned the UN Security Council to act fast in the face of famines of "biblical proportions" in what was not only “a global health pandemic but also a global humanitarian catastrophe”.[70]

A UN ECLAC report warned that the COVID-19 pandemic would result in the worst economic contraction in the history of Latin American and the Caribbean since the Great Depression, with a projected -5.3 per cent drop in activity in 2020.[71]

New data from UNESCO and partners revealed extreme divides in digitally-based distance learning for most of the world's students now at home due to COVID-19, as half of all students currently out of the classroom (nearly 830 million learners globally) lacked access to a computer, with over 40 per cent having no home Internet.[72]

UN Secretary-General António Guterres pledged the UN's continued support to the Alliance of Small Island States on climate change and the socioeconomic effects of COVID-19.[73]

22 April

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) confirmed that 5G was in no way responsible for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.[74]

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against 'complacency' as countries continue to battle COVID-19 and citizens grew weary of stay-at-home measures.[75]

On International Mother Earth Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres flagged the COVID-19 pandemic as “an unprecedented wake-up call” and offered six ways to help the climate.[76]

23 April

The UN Secretary-General released a new policy brief on shaping an effective, inclusive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, echoed his February Call to Action to put human dignity and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the core of the UN's work, and warned that the coronavirus pandemic was “fast becoming a human rights crisis”.[77]

24 April

The UN backed the virtual launch of the G20 Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative, to boost commitment and support for the production of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.[78]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, expressed alarm over press clampdowns stifling the free flow information in some countries, vital in getting the COVID-19 under control.[79]

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a statement called for greater funding as it worked to set up basic handwashing stations, deliver clean drinking water and food, and launch public information campaigns on COVID-19, for 100 million people at risk.[80]

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) reported that lessons learned during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia six years previously were helping it to confront COVID-19.[81]

25 April

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) warned that there was as yet no evidence that people who had recovered from COVID-19 and had antibodies were protected from a second infection.[82]

26 April

At the start of World Immunization Week, UNICEF warned that millions of children were in danger of missing life-saving vaccines against measles, diphtheria and polio due to disruptions in immunization as the world attempted to slow the transmission of COVID-19.[83]

27 April

The WHO warned about the pandemic's impact on health services, especially for children, particularly vaccination.[84]

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed launched a new women-led initiative to mobilize support to save lives and protect livelihoods in the face of COVID-19, 'Rise for All', a social and economic recovery initiative to bring women leaders together in calling the world to action in support of the UN Response and Recovery Fund and Framework.[85]

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, warned of a 'toxic lockdown culture' of state repression and stated that that emergency powers “should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power”.[86]

28 April

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners released new data suggesting ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in seven million unintended pregnancies in the next few months.[87]

Marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a new report, Ensuring Safety and Health at Work, urging countries to take action to prevent and control COVID-19 in the workplace.[88]

The ILO issued a new report, ILO Monitor Third Edition: COVID-19 and the World of Work, reporting that approximately 1.6 billion people employed in the informal economy, i.e., nearly half the global workforce, could see their livelihoods destroyed due to the lockdown responses to the spread of COVID-19, while over 430 million enterprises in hard-hit sectors risked “serious disruption”.[89]

The WHO launched a major UN-led initiative to secure supplies of key medical equipment for 135 low to medium-income countries responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.[90]

The UN Secretary-General addressed the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, stating that the parallel threats of COVID-19 and climate change required "brave, visionary and collaborative leadership" and noting that the Sustainable Development Goals were under threat.[91]

29 April

UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank, acting as part of the Global Education Coalition, issued new guidelines to assist governments in making decisions on safely reopening schools for 1.3 billion students affected by closures.[92]

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) urged governments to act immediately to support the futures of 370 million children globally depending on school meals.[93]

30 April

Climate activist Greta Thunberg along with Danish NGO Human Act launched a child rights-driven campaign to support UNICEF in protecting children's lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.[94]

UN special rapporteurs, independent experts and working groups issued a joint statement calling on the United States to lift its blockade on Cuba to save lives amid the expanding COVID-19 crisis.[95]

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 Reactions and measures at the United Nations articles: 49

Reactions and measures in Africa

Map of the WHO's regional offices and their respective operating regions.
  Africa; HQ: Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
  Western Pacific; HQ: Manila, Philippines
  Eastern Mediterranean; HQ: Cairo, Egypt
  South East Asia; HQ: New Delhi, India
  Europe; HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark
  Americas; HQ: Washington D.C., US

1 April

Eritrea announced a three-week lockdown, commencing 2 April to combat the spread of COVID-19.[96]

Sierra Leone declared that a three-day lockdown would come into effect on Saturday (4 April).[96]

3 April

At a press briefing, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, announced the commencement of local production of nose masks as part of efforts to arrest the spread of the pandemic in Ghana.[97]

4 April

President of Malawi Peter Mutharika announces several measures to support small and medium businesses including tax breaks, reducing fuel allowances and increasing risk allowances for health workers. The President also announces that he and his Cabinet will take a 10 percent salary cut.[98]

198 markets in the Eastern Region of Ghana were disinfected as part of the drive to control the pandemic. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development teamed up with Moderpest Company and Zoomlion Ghana for the exercise.[99]

The Nigerian Government announces the creation of a 500 billion naira (US$1.39 billion) coronavirus crisis intervention fund to upgrade its healthcare infrastructure.[98]

6 April

Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma donates 500 ventilators, 200,000 suits and face shields, 2,000 thermometers, one million swabs and extraction kits and 500,000 gloves to all 54 African countries.[100]

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announces a halt to all movement in parts of the country affected by COVID-19 including the capital Nairobi, coming into effect on 7pm on 6th April for a period of 21 days.[100]

The Nigerian Government requests a US$6.9 billion fund from international lenders to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus.[100]

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa introduces an emergency release of broadband spectrum to meet a spike in internet usage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.[100]

7 April

Benin's government ordered residents in several cities and towns to wear face masks. The Benin government also placed a "cordon sanitaire" on 12 areas including the capital Porto-Novo and largest city Cotonou, banning travel, public gatherings, and shutting down public transportation. This came into effect the following day.[101]

8 April

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declares a state of emergency to combat the spread of COVID-19. Ethiopian authorities have already banned public gatherings, closed schools, and required employees to work from home.[102]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa orders that the Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams be placed on "special leave" for two months for breaching lockdown requirements by having lunch with a former official in her home.[102]

9 April

Dr John Nkengasong, the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), condemns remarks made on 1 April by two French scientists Professors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht that a potential tuberculosis vaccine for the coronavirus be tested on Africa as "disgusting and racist." Mira had issued an apology for his statements via his employer, the Paris network of hospitals, on 3 April, while Locht could not be reached by that date for comment.[103][104][105]

The entire Parliament of Botswana including President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi will be quarantined for 14 days and tested for the coronavirus after a health worker screening lawmakers for the virus herself tested positive overnight.[105]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa defends the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to criticism by US President Trump.[105] President Ramaphosa also extended the country's lockdown, which had stated on 27 March and was due to last 21 days, by a further two weeks.[105]

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni issues a Twitter post discouraging people from jogging in groups and instead encouraging them to exercise indoors.[106]

10 April

The Senegalese government bans companies from dismissing employees during the coronavirus pandemic except in cases of gross negligence, commencing 14 April.[107]

Zimbabwe's national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, which is facing a US$30 million debt, places all its workers on indefinite unpaid leave.[107]

13 April

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announces that the Nigerian Government will extend lockdowns in the states of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun by another 14 days.[108]

South Africa evacuates 136 of its nationals from Nigeria on a chartered South African Airways flight.[108]

14 April

The Ghana Education Service and Zoomlion Ghana Limited joined forces to launch an initiative to fumigate all senior high, special and technical schools in the country to curb the spread of the pandemic.[109]

President of Guinea Alpha Condé makes it compulsory for all citizens and residents to wear face masks, coming into effect on 18 April. Offenders face a civil disobedience tax of 30,000 Guinean francs (US$3.16, €2.8). Condéalso called upon all companies, ministries and NGOs to provide masks to their employees by Saturday and called for masks to be manufactured locally and sold cheaply.[110]

President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni extends the country's initial 14-day lockdown by an extra three weeks until 5 May in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.[110]

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa threatens to jail the author of a statement, claiming that the nationwide lockdown had been extended, for 20 years for posting "fake news."[110]

15 April

The International Monetary Fund approves a $115 million disbursement for Burkina Faso and another $114 million for Niger under its Rapid Credit Facility to help African states cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.[111]

In Malawi, the Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango announces that the Malawian Government will be imposing a three-week nationwide lockdown between 18 April and 9 May in a bit to combat the spread of the coronavirus.[111]

16 April

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, announces that the agency will distribute 1 million test kits across Africa with the goal of testing 15 million people over the next three months.[112]

In Kenya, Governor of Nairobi Mike Sonko draws media attention for distributing cognac and Hennessy to the poor, claiming it can cure the coronavirus. His claims have been rejected by the Kenyan Government and the liquor company LVMH.[112]

The Liberian Government announces that it will launch a radio schooling initiative for children whose education was disrupted after Liberia closed schools across the country on 16 March in response to the country's first coronavirus case.[112]

Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission reports there were eight documented incidents of extrajudicial killings by law security forces resulting in 18 deaths.[112]

South African Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe announces that the South African Government will allow mines to operate at 50 percent capacity in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.[112]

17 April

Michel Yao, the head of emergency operations for World Health Organization Africa, could rise to 10 million in three to six months based on computer modelling.[113]

The Malawian High Court issues a ruling temporarily barring the Malawian Government from imposing a 21-day lockdown following a petition by the human rights NGO Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and protests by small-scale traders complaining that the lockdown would cause hardship and poverty.[113]

18 April

The Algerian Government extended its lockdown by 10 days, through April 29.[114]

In Nigeria, Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died from the coronavirus.[114]

19 April

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo announce that they will mandate the wearing of face masks.[115]

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the country's lockdown by two weeks.[115]

20 April

Ghana is using drones from Zipline to test people more quickly outside of the major cities. Zipline will fly samples collected from more than 1,000 health facilities in rural areas to laboratories in the capital Accra and Kumasi. The Ghanaian Government has also ended a three-week lockdown in Accra and Kumasi, the country's two major cities.[116]

21 April

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the release of prisoners awaiting trial, elderly, and terminally ill prisoners in an effort to ease overcrowding in Nigerian prisons.[117]

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a US$26 billion relief package to help businesses and people in need during the coronavirus pandemic.[117]

22 April

Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed the arrest of 131 government officials including police officers, councillors, health officials and corrections officers for flouting the country's coronavirus regulations including selling confiscated alcohol.[118]

23 April

The German investment bank KfW has delivered two mobile diagnostic laboratories to Uganda and Rwanda to help combat the coronavirus. More mobile laboratory units have been dispatched to the six member states of the East African Community.[119]

The South African Competition Tribunal has launched an investigation of the pharmaceutical group Dis-Chem for increasing the price of face masks by 261%. South Africa