African states have begun easing their lockdown restrictions, as leaders begin to navigate the murky waters that will hopefully lead to economic revovery. The full impact of Covid-19 is unravelling with every day and if there’s one thing we have learnt this week it’s that life after lockdown won’t be straightforward or easy at all.
Many of Nigeria’s citizens are already feeling the most damaging effects wreaked by the coronavirus. the West African nation eased a number of it’s lockdown restrictions this month in an attempt to revive its economy.
According to reports, the prices of food have increased by nearly 50%, leading to further food insecurity for many of the country’s poorest citizens.
“The lockdown and the extension were not done properly by the government because we were unable to plan. The prices of food went up and it might never come down. Because of the lockdown, I was unable to go to the bigger markets to see if I could buy food for cheaper.” said one university student to African Report.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Wednesday evening and declared his administration’s intent on lowering the country’s national response level by the end of May. South Africa has adopted a 5-Tier alert system and is currently sitting on level four. A downgrade to level three will allow larger number nationals to return to work, as many more services are allowed to resume.
Ramaphosa and his cabinet have been under increasing scrutiny from opposition leaders and local commentators who believe that the nationwide lockdown, which has been in effect for 49 days at the time of writing, is holding the country back.
The president, however, is of a different view. After reviewing projections from his analysts, Ramaphosa claimed that without the lockdown, over 80,000 South Africans would have been infected by this point.
Elsewhere in Africa, Rwanda announced Thursday that it will allow some people to return to work from May 4, easing a nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus in an effort to revive the economy.
“Public and private businesses will resume work with essential staff while other employees continue working from home. The manufacturing and construction sectors will open with essential workers,” said a communiqué issued by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente after a cabinet meeting.
“Markets will open for essential vendors not exceeding 50% of registered traders. Hotels and restaurants will open and close by 7 p.m., but meetings in public spaces and mass gatherings are prohibited,”
Senegalese president, Macky Sall, also followed the trend at the beginning of this week where he announced that lockdown restrictions would be eased. Mosques and churches will now be allowed to accept worshippers.