How Covid-19 has struck seats of power in Africa
For five months, the Coronavirus has struck through the globe, sparing no one in its wake, including prominent members of the society who are considered untouchables.
Celebrities, the high, the might – even governments – have all fallen victims to Covid-19. Indeed, the novel virus has proved that its not a respecter of persons.
In Africa, Covid-19 has walked right into a number of top government offices, and in some case it has struck the seat of power.
Here are some of the prominent examples:
1. Ghana – The country’s Ministry of Information announced at the weekend that President Nana Akufo-Addo will spend the next two weeks in self-isolation after one of his aides tested positive for Coronavirus. The President, according to reports, has tested negative but opted to undergo isolation as per the health regulations.
“He has of today (Saturday) tested negative but took this motion with respect to the Covid-19 protocol. The President during this precautionary self-isolation period will be working from the Presidential Villa at the Jubilee House in Accra,” read part of a statement by Information Minister Kojjo Opong Nkrumah.
2. Kenya – In June, four State House officials tested positive for Coronavirus, thus marking the first publicly acknowledged Covid-19 infections at the top national government office.
State House spokesperson Kanze Dena at the time said the identities of the four would remain concealed as they seek treatment at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral and Research Hospital.
Dena also noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Family were ‘safe and free’ from Covid-19. President Uhuru Kenyatta later confirmed he had tested negative.
3. Uganda – Also in June, the country’s Prime Miniter Ruhakana Rugunda retreated to isolation after some of the people he had been in contact with tested positive for Covid-19.
“Friends, I have gone into self-isolation after some of my contacts tested positive for #Covid-19. My own test is negative, however, I have taken this as health recommended measure,” he tweeted.
4. Nigeria – In May, the powerful chief of staff to Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari died after contracting the coronavirus. President Buhari’s office then announced the passage of Abba Kyari who acted as a gatekeeper to the president of Africa’s most populous nation.
“The deceased has tested positive to the ravaging Covid-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” the statement said.
5. South Sudan – In May, the BBC reported that the Vice-President of South Sudan, Riek Machar, who was part of a task force formed to fight coronavirus, had gone into self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19. It was also reported that his wife, who is the Defence Minister Angelina Teny, some bodyguards and other staff also tested positive.
6. Burundi – Also in June, Burundi First Lady Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza spent two weeks undergoing treatment at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi with reports suggesting she had exhibited Covid-19 symptoms. At around the same time, her husband and former Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly. Burundi government said the former head of state had suffered cardiac arrest.