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Coronavirus Updates Africa | Coronavirus-COVID-19 Updates in Africa

As we speak today the world is under a state of disarray and confusion on what to do and how to curb the ever-increasing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  What began as simple flu in a Chinese town of Wuhan has now proven to be a global epidemic with no cure hence living the global village polarized and disorientated on what to do next. We have now dedicated this page to shading light on this disease that has dismantled society in a way that hasn’t been seen for a century now ever since the 1918 Spanish flu by answering all your questions about this still pretty new virus in the human world.

What is Coronavirus?

In the world of pathology, Coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t a new virus on the scene but rather just a new strain that is part of the larger family of coronaviruses which have existed for quite some time such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). However, this new strain of Corona Virus seems to be more serial than the former 2 combined given the number of causalities it has claimed in its wake.

Is Coronavirus a disease?

No, Coronavirus is a virus/germ that causes is an infectious disease known as Coronavirus disease 2019 or shortly abbreviated as (COVID-19).

What is a novel Coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Why is the disease being called Coronavirus disease 2019/COVID-19?

Given the fact, there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. The WHO had to come up with a name that was to be used to identify this new disease since this was a new virus altogether that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for the naming of new human infectious diseases.

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for the disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

Coronavirus Pandemic 

What is the definition of a pandemic?

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic disease that is spreading worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”. The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity.

By this definition, pandemics can be said to occur annually in each of the temperate southern and northern hemispheres, given that seasonal epidemics cross international boundaries and affect a large number of people. However, seasonal epidemics are not considered pandemics.

Symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19

What are the signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus? What do you feel when you contract Coronavirus?

The signs and symptoms of Coronavirus are no different from the signs of the common flu or cold and these range from common to less common to serious symptoms

Some of the common signs include

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness

Less common symptoms include

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms include

  • Shortness or difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement

Which people are at risk of contracting Coronavirus? People who are at risk of getting Coronavirus

According to health experts, people with weak immune systems are the ones who have the highest chances of contracting this deadly virus however there is no guarantee that you won’t contract the virus if you have a strong immune system.

What does Coronavirus do to the body?

When you get infected with Coronavirus, you will start feeling or developing some of the signs and symptoms that we mentioned above such as headaches, fever, joint and muscle pains. These feelings are developed as a result of your body has a strong immune system which responds to the infection. The immune system will detect the virus as a hostile invader and signals to the rest of the body something is wrong by releasing chemicals called cytokines which in turn cause these symptoms to occur to you as the put up a strong fight against the intruding virus. Some people will eventually start coughing up sputum – a thick mucus containing dead lung cells killed by the virus. When this occurs to you, you shouldn’t really press the panic button yet but rather just have ample bed rest, take plenty of fluids and paracetamol and you will probably heal from this. This stage lasts about a week – at which point most recover because their immune system has fought off the virus. However, some will develop a more serious form of Covid-19 and this will require special attention from professional doctors.

Prevention of Coronavirus COVID-19 

How to prevent Coronavirus?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This enables you to kill the viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. This is advisable because when someone who is affected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks they release small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets hence getting infected with the virus
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COIVD-19 and it is more difficult to maintain a physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. This is because these parts are soft parts which can easily be used as a passageway for the virus into your body. The other reason is that hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This can be best observed by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you have used a tissue,  dispose it off immediately  and wash your hands to get read of any viruses that could remain on them
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. This is simply because the National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area and calling in advance will allow the doctors to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Why is it important to wear a face mask?

Wearing a cloth face mask is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 where social distancing, frequent hand cleaning, and other everyday preventive actions can’t be done regularly. Wearing a face mask is intended to prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others in case the wearer is positive for COVID-19. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical face masks and N95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare personnel and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Current COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates in Africa

Current Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) While At the hotels and safari lodges

Prime Uganda safaris work only with those hotels and lodges that have proven to uphold the health of our clients and practices in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Uganda Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Tourism.

Also, our partner lodges and hotels foster flexibility in all their operation, such as those that can amend the booking if a client is unable to make it at the suggested time and those that can keep the clients’ credit until when they are fit to travel. The measures and guidelines to follow at the accommodation establishments shall include the following;

Covid-19 Requirements For African Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya & Tanzania 

Despite the COVID-9 pandemic, Africa continues to see positive momentum with most African safari destinations now open to international visitors. However, health and safety are on the top of every traveler’s mind, now more than ever. And many of our potential travelers have been inquiring about the Covid-19 Requirements For African Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya & Tanzania.

Through our direct line of communication with our trusted on-the-ground partners throughout these countries, cross-referenced with official government entities, we have compiled an updated Coronavirus Travel Requirements and Restrictions in these five safari countries.

Please note that these COVID-19 travel guidelines change regularly and if you are planning a trip to Africa, please ensure you stay up to date with the latest requirements or get in touch with your Prime Safari Expert for up-to-date advice.

Uganda COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

Safaris in Uganda including Uganda gorilla safaris and Uganda wildlife safaris have been operating since October 2021 when the country reopened its international border.  

The Ministry of Health set out COVID-19 health measures and guidelines regarding what testings is required for arriving and departing passengers which have been revised depending on the pandemic situation. 

The most recent guidelines, which took effect on September 3, 2021, require all arriving passengers (including children), regardless of vaccination status or country of origin, to arrive with a negative PCR test done 72 hours before travel to Uganda and to undergo mandatory screening and a PCR test at their own expense at all points of entry, including Entebbe International Airport.

Travelers allowed to enter or depart Uganda include;

  • Travelers arriving from Category 2 countries include India, USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan. 
  • Travelers arriving from Category 3 Countries which include all countries, not in Category 2. These will not be subject to the COVID-19 PCR test.
  • All travelers whose body temperature is not higher than 37.5°C (99.5°F) 
  • All travelers who do not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, or other flu-like symptoms 
  • All travelers who have a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate were obtained within 72 hours of sample collection.

Travelers who are not allowed to enter or depart Uganda includes;

  • Travelers from Category 1 countries. Currently, there is no country in this category.
  • Travelers from Category 2 and 3 without a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate were undertaken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection.

COVID-19 Protocols at Entebbe International Aiport

  • Entebbe International Airport Port Health must approve a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for arrival or departure undertaken within 72 hours of sample collection.
  • In addition to the negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to the first embarkation, all arriving passengers from category 2 countries will be subjected to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Uganda.
  • Travelers will be transferred by bus to a government-approved testing facility, located about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) from the airport, where PCR testing is done.
  • The PCR test will cost USD 30 per traveler, payable in cash.
  • For travelers presenting with COVID-19 signs and symptoms or another infectious disease will be subjected to secondary screening and will be taken for further management. 
  • If found to have an infectious disease, travelers will be taken for further management at the infectious disease hospital.
  • If you show signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or another infectious disease you will be subjected to further screening and be taken for further management. 
  • If found to have an infectious disease,  you will be taken to the infectious disease hospital for further management.
  • Passengers arriving in curfew time (7:00 pm – 5:30 am), and/or from districts beyond Kampala with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels and/or residences.

Uganda COVID-19 Protocols For Departing Passengers

  • Passengers departing Uganda via Entebbe Airport must have an authenticated negative Covid PCR test certificate provided within 72 hours of the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft.
  • All PCR test certificates for departing passengers must indicate travel as the intended purpose of the test.
  • Passengers departing Entebbe Airport are required to know, understand, and interpret the COVID-19 requirements of the country they are traveling to.
  • Passengers departing in curfew time, and or from districts beyond Kampala with a valid air ticket shall be allowed to proceed to their destination airport by the presentation of the passenger ticket to the authorities as evidence of going to the airport.
  • Individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 test shall be treated according to the Ministry of Health protocol for COVID19.

Where And How Can You Do Your Covid-19 Departure Tests While On Your Uganda Safari? 

Regardless of where the test center is located or a sample is collected, all PCR Co tests are processed at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. 

Before a result is released, all the tests must make their way to Entebbe for processing. Based on this there are three options available to people who want to get tested while on an Uganda tour.

Option One 

Adding one extra night to your existing Uganda safari vacation is the safest and most secure option to take the COVID test and receive your results in time to catch your departing flight hours.

This allows you to take your test in Entebbe on the day you return from your Uganda safari activities such as Uganda gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee trekking, wildlife game viewing, birding, and others to stay an additional night in Entebbe, pick up your test the next day, and then fly back home.

Option Two

In Kampala and Entebbe, several testing centers have sprung up, each with a different fee and varying wait times for test results.

On the day you return from your Uganda trip, these test centers could be used for a Covid test. However, this is an unreliable option of getting results from test centers after the test has been completed, and it may cause you to miss your flight home.

Option Three

Upcountry, in Mbarara and Fort Portal, there are testing centers that can perform a COVID test. These tests, however, must be sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe to be processed and a result determined. This means that even if you were tested upcountry, you will have to wait for your results in Entebbe.

Therefore, we recommend staying an extra night in Entebbe after your tour in Uganda to guarantee that you have enough time to complete the COVID – 1 9 test and get your results before flying home.

Status of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni in his televised speech on 22nd  September 2021 said the COVID-19 transmission rates in Uganda have continued to decline. 

He noted that the daily average number of confirmed cases over the last month has declined and stabilized at 124 cases countrywide, from an average of 1,445 cases at the peak of the second wave in June 2021. 

Similarly, the daily average number of deaths has declined to 6 from 57 deaths at the height of the peak of the second wave.

As of 22nd September 2021, the country has registered 122,502 confirmed cases and 3,135 deaths. Additionally, the current admissions stand at 340 in both public and private facilities (272 in public, 66 in prisons, and only 2 in the private facilities), of whom 144 (38%) are in the severe and critical category.

But to prevent the third wave and importation or emergence of new variants in Uganda, Mr. Museveni directed the Ministry of Health to enhance surveillance at the airport and all the 53 land ports of entry.

“Government will establish testing facilities at the airport and all land border points of entry. In the interim (not more than 2 weeks), the private laboratories will continue to test the incoming travelers,” he said.

The president further said the UPDF and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will support the Ministry of Health to complete the modifications necessary for the installation of the testing facilities and to carry out the surveillance processes.

“I am aware of the limitations of the current Public Health Act. Cabinet will fast track its amendment to facilitate the enforcement of SOPs and include among others, the on-spot and court fines of those who fail to adhere to SOPs,” he added.

If you have any questions about the Uganda safari, please get in touch with us.

Rwanda COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

Safari activities in Rwanda including Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Chimpanzee trekking, Wildlife Game Viewing, Kigali city tours, and others have resumed in line with COVID-19 regulations. As of 22 September 2021, Rwanda has imposed a curfew from 22:00 to 04:00. 

What Countries are allowed to travel to Rwanda?

Currently, international visitors arriving by flight can visit Rwanda safari destinations. These travelers can enter Rwanda on the condition of satisfying the health and safety requirements below;

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

All tourists are allowed to visit Rwanda’s attractions and destinations after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.

Rwanda COVID-19 Requirements for Arriving Passengers

  • All travelers older than 5 years must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, performed within 72 hours of departure for Rwanda.
  • A second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered after 24 hours during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.
  • Travelers arriving from India and Uganda are required to complete 7 days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at the designated hotels of Ubumwe Grande Hotel, Landmark Suites, Corina K. Guesthouse, and Colours Club SPA & Garden Resort at their own cost.
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload your COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel before arrival. On completion of the form, you will be provided with a Unique Health Code (UHC) which you must present on arrival. Note: this can only be submitted within 72 hours before your departure.
  • Complete a short health questionnaire on arrival.
  • If you are visiting any national park in Rwanda, except Akagera, you are required to schedule your visit within 72 hours of receiving a negative PCR test result. Tourists visiting Akagera National Park are required to take a Rapid Antigen Test, available at numerous clinics in Kigali. If your visit/s are more than 72 hours after the initial test on arrival in Rwanda, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test before visiting the parks.
  • Follow preventive measures while traveling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory, and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.

Rwanda COVID-19 Protocols For Departing Passengers

All travelers departing Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19 after taking a PCR test within 72 hours of departure. Allow 48 hours for results from when the sample is collected.

Cost Of The COVID-19 Tests In Rwanda

The cost of the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is Rwf 47,200 (USD 50) for travelers departing Rwanda and Rwf 57,200 (USD 60) for arriving visitors. 

The cost of a Rapid Antigen test is Rwf 10,000 and results are typically available within 15 minutes of the test being taken. 

If you have any questions about the Rwanda safari, please get in touch with us.

DR Congo COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reopened its borders and airports for international visitors who would like to undertake a gorilla trek in Virunga National Park and visit other amazing Congo safari destinations. 

General Requirements to visit Virunga National Park

If you planning to visit Virunga N Park on a gorilla trekking tour in Congo, you must provide a certified negative PCR test for COVID 19 taken in the last three days or a COVID vaccination certificate.

Virunga is home to three types of great apes including the endangered Mountain Gorillas, the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, and Chimpanzees.

If you are traveling into this park, you have the possibility of coming into contact with two of these apes.

As is now apparent and had been suspected for a while, Great Apes can contract COVID-19. Thus, the Virunga National Park authority has put together the following requirements for all travelers planning their tours to Virunga National Park.

  • All visits are required to provide a certified negative PCR test for COVID 19 taken in the last
    three days or a COVID vaccination certificate.
  • A rapid COVID-19 test before departure for Kibumba or Mikeno Lodge will be compulsory for all visitors and administered at Grande Barriere.
  • On arrival at all locations and daily whilst they are in the park, visitors will have their
    temperature taken. If they have any symptoms of COVID 19 or stomach issues, they are
    requested to please inform the management.
  • Visitors are asked to bring their facemasks and hand sanitizer.
  • Visitors will have to maintain social distancing during all treks and throughout their stay
    in the park.
  • All rangers and trackers who will accompany clients on gorilla treks will have a rapid
    COVID-19 test every two weeks or will receive vaccines as soon as possible.

COVID 19 testing for Departure.

  • All visitors should be aware of the COVID 19 test requirements to leave DRC ahead of
    arrival
  • PCR testing is available in Goma at Hospital General. There is a fast track line at a cost of
    $50.
  • COVID 19 tests in DRC can take up to 48 hours to be processed. 
  • Depending on your requirements, you should anticipate your tests before the departure to your lodge of choice, after returning from Nyiragongo, or on the way to Tchegera.

Tanzania COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

Tanzania announced on 18 May 2020 that it will lift the ban on international flights arriving and departing from the country. 

Countries allowed to travel to Tanzania

  • Travelers from all countries are allowed to visit Tanzania’s safari destinations. 

Tanzania COVID-19 Requirements for Arriving Passengers

On 19th  September 2021, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) through Ministries responsible for Health Mainland and Zanzibar elevate and enhance prevailing preventive measures against COVID-19 especially those about International Travel to accommodate measures as follows;

    • All travelers including Tanzanians, returning residents, and members of the crew1/layovers are required to truthfully fill in an online Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form available at https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/#/home for Tanzania mainland and https://healthtravelznz.mohz.go.tz for Zanzibar within 24 hours before arrival to URT`.
    • All travelers including Tanzanians will be required to present a negative COVID-19  RT-PCR test certificate upon arrival done at a nationally approved laboratory using sample tested within 96 hours of departure to URT.  
    • All travelers, arriving from countries experiencing variants of concern,  the highest number of COVID-19 cases based on WHO epidemiological updates or those who have traveled through those countries in the last 14 days regardless of the route taken shall be subjected to rapid tests at Points of Entry at their own cost. 
    • The cost for COVID-19 rapid test shall be 10 USD or TZS.23,000 of which is non-refundable and testing fees apply to travelers arriving in Tanzania Mainland by Air or Marine Vessels. 
    • For Zanzibar, the cost for a rapid test shall be 25 USD or equivalent to TZS. 58,000. The updated list of countries for the Rapid Antigen Test is available at https://www.moh.go.tz website or Points of Entry. 
  • Travellers to Mainland Tanzania are advised to pay for COVID-19 rapid test online to avoid unnecessary queue upon arrival through an automatically generated control number obtained after filling online Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form and for Zanzibar through https://zanzibarcovidtesting.co.tz
  • Children aged 5 years and below, Travelers in transit, Aircraft crew are exempted from both RT-PCR certificate and COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test.
  • Travelers with positive COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test shall be allowed to isolate themselves at their residencies for 14 days or more until they test negative using the RT-PCR test and will be subjected to strict surveillance procedures. 
  • All arriving conveyances must provide in advance passenger information to allow the Authorities at the Points of Entry to scrutinize the manifest for identification of possible high-risk passengers and submit duly filled conveyance health declaration forms (Health Part of Aircraft General Declaration, Maritime Health Declaration, and Ground Transport/Vehicles Health Declaration Form).

Tanzania COVID-19 Requirements for departing Passengers

All departing travelers are advised to seek information before departure from the travel agent regarding COVID-19 requirements of their country of destination or conveyance to be used.

Kenya COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

On 6 July 2020, Kenya announced that local air travel will resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020.

Open for international travel via:

  • Airports
  • Land borders

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

Before departing for Kenya, passengers are required to submit their COVID-19 test certificates to generate a Trusted Travel (TT) code. Visit PanaBios https://panabios.org/ to create a TT account, upload PCR test certificates, and generate a TT code.

A negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate is required, obtained no later than 96 hours before departure from your home country.

Body temperatures must test below 37.5°C (99.5°F) and visitors must have no persistent cough, no difficulty breathing, and no other flu-like symptoms.

If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing at designated airport hotels. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.

It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Traveler Health Surveillance Form https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration/  by the Ministry of Health online before disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration

Travelers are expected to submit daily health information to the Jitenge platform (available from Google Play Store) for 14 consecutive days after arriving in Kenya.

Strict infection prevention and control measures have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

Passengers arriving on international flights from Brunei, Thailand, Kuwait, and Qatar are required to quarantine for 14 days at their own cost at a government-approved facility. Follow the link below to see the list of facilities and additional travel requirements;

https://www.kcaa.or.ke/covid-19/quarantine-exempted-states 

Travelers arriving from the United Kingdom (irrespective of nationality, residency status, and route of travel) are required to self-isolate for 7 days and take a subsequent PCR test 4 days after arrival, and submit daily health information to the Jitenge platform (available from Google Play Store) for 14 consecutive days after arriving in Kenya.

Travelers arriving from approved countries are exempt from mandatory quarantine. Please follow the link below to see the list of countries exempt from mandatory quarantine;  

https://www.kcaa.or.ke/covid-19/quarantine-exempted-states 

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

Passengers departing Kenya are required to have a Trusted Travel (TT) code for their COVID-19 test certificates if their destination countries, airlines or transit airports require PCR tests. 

Please follow the link below to see the laboratories that have been approved to carry out COVID-19 PCR tests and issue certificates and TT codes.

https://www.kcaa.or.ke/covid-19/approved-pcr-testing-labs 

Conclusion 

Health and safety protocols are excellent in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, and Kenya: sanitizer stations, temperature checks, social distancing, and the wearing of masks are standard practices.  If you feel ready and comfortable, Africa is ready for you. 

Get in touch with our safari experts to help tailor-make a trip that’s right for you:

Uganda Facts
COVID-19 Updates in Uganda
COVID-19 Updates in Rwanda
COVID-19 Updates in Kenya
COVID-19 Updates in Tanzania
COVID-19 Updates in Congo
COVID-19 Updates in Egypt
COVID-19 Updates in Botswana
COVID-19 Updates in Namibia
COVID-19 Update in South Africa
COVID-19 Updates in Ethiopia
COVID-19 Updates in Zimbabwe
COVID-19 Updates in Zambia
COVID-19 Updates in Madagascar
COVID-19 Updates in Nigeria

Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQ’s – All Questions Answered 

Coronavirus is believed to have come from or started in the Chinese town of Wuhan in the province of Hubei. Its is believed that this virus started from the seafood market where it is believed it managed to cross from the live animals that were being sold here and then it got transmitted to humans

Given the current research findings that have been published, it’s not known for certain if people with high blood pressure and no other underlying health conditions are more likely than others to get severely ill from Coronavirus / COVID-19. However what is known is that many people who have gotten severely ill from Coronavirus / COVID-19 have high blood pressure but these are often older or have other medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, and serious heart conditions that place them at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus / COVID-19.

When you get infected with Coronavirus, you will start feeling or developing some of the signs and symptoms that we mentioned above such as headaches, fever, joint and muscle pains. These feelings are developed as a result of your body has a strong immune system which responds to the infection. The immune system will detect the virus as a hostile invader and signals to the rest of the body something is wrong by releasing chemicals called cytokines which in turn cause these symptoms to occur to you as the put up a strong fight against the intruding virus. Some people will eventually start coughing up sputum – a thick mucus containing dead lung cells killed by the virus. When this occurs to you, you shouldn’t really press the panic button yet but rather just have ample bed rest, take plenty of fluids and paracetamol and you will probably heal from this. This stage lasts about a week – at which point most recover because their immune system has fought off the virus. However, some will develop a more serious form of Covid-19 and this will require special attention from professional doctors.

While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to with only a few people having immunity to it. This, therefore, means that more people are susceptible to get infected with this disease. Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.

Coronavirus can be spread in several ways however the most common ones that have proved the easiest ways through which the virus can be passed from one person to another are the following. The disease can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person coughs or sneezes.

The virus can also be spread when you touch a surface that has been touched by a sick person with COVID- 19. This is possible because this virus can persist for some time on objects or surfaces around the person the sick person. An infection with COVID-19 can occur if you touch these objects or surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. COVID-19 can also be contracted by inhaling droplets from a sick person who has just coughed or sneezed. This is why it is important to keep a distance of more than two meters from a sick person and to respect basic hygiene measures.

The Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the global population in drastic ways. In many countries, older people are facing the most threats and challenges at this time. Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face a significant risk of developing severe illness if they contract the disease due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions.

As of today, Coronavirus deaths are decreasing in some countries such as Italy, UK, France, Belgium Germany, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and USA and many other European countries that were badly affected by this global pandemic a few weeks ago. However, there are other countries such as Brazil, Chile and many others where the coronavirus deaths are still going up rapidly

No, it’s very difficult to presume that Coronavirus will be gone by summertime given that there are countries that haven’t reached their peak number of infections and deaths. The other reason is as of today, the world as over 6.8 million people infected with over

If someone gives you a particular date on which they believe coronavirus will end, then be sure to know that you’re being laid because there is no one who knows when this virus will end. This is essential because this virus has the ability to live inside a person without ever making this person show any signs or symptoms of having it and yet they can still very ably pass it on to another person unknowingly hence making it easy for new infections to occur. However, one sure way we can expect this virus to ever end is when an effective vaccine has been created.

Yes, coronavirus can live on clothes and its not advisable to touch clothes of sick persons without wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves while handling clothes that have been worn by a person who is suspected or infected with the coronavirus.

Yes, coronavirus can be spread through air especially when an infected person sneezes or coughs without covering his or mouth. This leads to the projection of mucus droplets that are carrying the virus and these can easily be breathed in by another person nearby who isn’t infected yet thereby also get infected with the disease.

Currently, there isn’t enough research data to support this claim however, this doesn’t mean that it is entirely impossible for one to get coronavirus when they get to have sex with someone who is infected with the coronavirus. On the contrary, you’re likely to get infected with the virus because you get to be in close proximity to this infected person.

Asymptomatic transmission refers to transmission of the virus from a person, who does not develop symptoms. There’re are few cases that have been documented by truly asymptomatic, however, this doesn’t exclude the possibility that it occurs.

As of today, scientists say there is no proper cure for this deadly virus and the currently anti-biotics available on the market are of no great use since this is a pneumonia virus which renders the antibiotics treatment ineffective against the virus.

All the known coronaviruses that can infect humans which include Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and now COVID-19 have no vaccines however there is optimism among scientists that a vaccine will soon be got as there are many promising vaccine trials that are underway in several countries including China, USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and many others

As far as the collected data results indications, the average time for one to fully recover from COVID-19 from the time of infection to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for patients with the severe or critical disease.

There are two main categories of coronavirus tests. These include the Molecular coronavirus test and the Serological (antibody) test. These tests function differently and it will depend on what you are interested in finding to determine which test to use. A positive molecular test indicates an active COVID-19 infection but does not rule out bacterial infections or co-infections with other viruses. Although this is only to a smaller percentage hence rendering the test highly accurate. Serological tests rely on detecting antibodies in a blood sample, usually obtained through a simple finger prick. These tests do not require special equipment to process the results, which allows them to be used in laboratories or at point-of-care. When you’re exposed to the virus, your body develops antibodies, which can take several days to over a week. Antibodies are proteins your body makes when mounting a response against invading germs. So when you use the serological tests they will be looking for antibodies specifically the Immunoglobulin M(IgM) antibodies that are developed by your immune system in response to an attack by the COVID-19 disease

You should eat foods that have vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. You also need to drink enough water. Eat fruits such as pineapples, mangoes and bananas, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, brown rice or starchy tubers or roots such as potato, yam, taro or cassava), and foods from animal sources (e.g. meat, fish, eggs and milk). For snacks, choose raw vegetables and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt.

You can determine the corona zone you’re in by following the Global Coronavirus map that has been developed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in partnership with the World Health Organisation which has regional sectors. The WHO regions with Coronavirus include Africa, Africa territories,  Americas which combines all countries in South America, Central America, America’s territories and countries in North America except USA, Europe, Europe territories,  Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean territories,  South East Asia, Western Pacific, Western Pacific territories. To more about which countries belong to each of these regions please visit the CDC global COVID-19 world map

As of today, all research findings that have been released indicate that this virus is a natural virus that has not been made or modified in any way by man.

Yes, coronavirus is mutating just like any other virus out there, however, the rate at which this virus is mutating is slow hence doesn’t pose as a big stumbling block in the efforts that have been made to develop a vaccine for it.

Yes, someone with Coronavirus / COVID-19 can spread the disease to others. This is because the COVID-19 virus can easily spread from person-to-person. Symptomatic people or people who are severely ill from COVID-19 are thought to be most contagious. That is why CDC and the W.H.O recommend that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. However, its not only the symptomatic people who can spread the virus but also Asymptomatic patients( people who are infected with the virus but without showing any signs or symptoms of the illness) can also actively spread the virus without ever noticing.

Many countries are using different methods of data collections and processing from those used by either by the CDC, John Hopkins or the WHO in hence bringing about the differences in the overall case numbers.  CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers include many publicly reported numbers, including information from state, local, territorial, international and external partners.

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease such as COVID-19 but have not developed illness (symptoms), so that to prevent the possible spread of that disease. The time a person is to spend in quarantine is usually established following the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which an exposed person develops signs and symptoms of the illness. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure since the incubation period for this virus is 2 to 14 days. This, therefore, means that when someone is released from COVID-19 quarantine, he or she is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Going by the current research findings on this novel coronavirus thus far, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food – the additional investigation is needed.

It is not yet known for certain if warmer temperatures will affect the spread of COVID-19.  Although this might be the case with some other viruses, like those that cause the common cold and flu, that easily spread during cold weather months and spread less during other months, this doesn’t mean it will be the same with Coronavirus / COVID-19.  There is so much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Community spread means people get infected with the virus in an area, and its no longer possible to trace for contacts since many people will not be sure how or where they became infected.

Coronaviruses are generally known to survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity while they can survive for longer periods in cooler temperatures. However, there is no conclusive research data for a temperature-based cutoff for at which this virus will die. Regardless of the temperatures, please follow the CDC and the W.H.O guidelines on how to prevent the spread of this disease

At this time, there is no research-based evidence to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads are from person to person.

You need to keep a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. This is because when someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus and if you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.

Here are some recommended guidelines by the CDC and W.H.O that you should follow in case you get sick or think that you’re infected with COVID-19 or care for someone who is ill.

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. However, you should call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
  • Additional guidance is available for those living in close quarters and shared housing.

Monitor your symptoms for Coronavirus / COVID-19 which include: – fever, cough, or other symptoms.

You should only seek emergency medical attention when you exhibit any of these signs for Coronavirus / COVID-19.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Please care to note that call ahead and notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have Coronavirus COVID-19.

  • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.
  • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
  • If you are sick wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth
  • You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home)
  • You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the covering without help.

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical-grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. You may need to make a cloth face-covering using a scarf or bandana.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water are the best options, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
  • Wash these items thoroughly after using them with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

There is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and how it spreads, except being transmitted from person to person through droplets,  it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In healthcare settings across the world, donating blood is lifesaving and it is an essential part of caring for patients. The need for donated blood is constant, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. CDC and W.H.O encourage people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19. CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.

Stigma occurs when people negatively associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a specific population. Unfortunately, it is true that some of the people who have suffered from COVID-19 but have healed from it have suffered a certain degree of stigma when they are released back into their communities since some people will still associate them with the disease regardless of the fact that by the time they’re released from hospitals they have completely healed from the disease and pose no risk of infecting any person in society.

Flattening the curve means slowing the rate of new infections at any given time. This essentially allows healthcare services to better manage the same volume of patients without ever straining the health care system.

According to what is currently known, the Coronavirus does not seem to pose a particular threat to expectant mothers. This, therefore, means that pregnant women are not subject to additional protective measures other than those normally recommended in the context of their pregnancy.

In general, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary travel. In the case of travel, the respect of barrier gestures is indicated:

  • Monitor symptoms daily (cough, breathing problems)
  • Measure your temperature twice a day
  • Wash your hands frequently and properly
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable and fragile people
  • Continue your usual activity.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & WATER

Can Coronavirus be spread through drinking water?

As per the current research, the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal or national drinking water systems are effective in killing or inactivating the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can Coronavirus be found in Stool or faeces?

The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the faeces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in faeces may be capable of causing COVID-19 since this has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from faeces to a person.

Can Coronavirus spread through sewage systems?

Coronavirus has been found in untreated wastewater. However, researchers aren’t certain whether this virus can cause disease if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewerage systems. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through properly designed and maintained sewerage systems is considered very low.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & HYPERTENSION

Are people with high blood pressure (hypertension) at higher risk from COVID-19?

Given the current research findings that have been published, it’s not known for certain if people with high blood pressure and no other underlying health conditions are more likely than others to get severely ill from Coronavirus / COVID-19. However what is known is that many people who have gotten severely ill from Coronavirus / COVID-19 have high blood pressure but these are often older or have other medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, and serious heart conditions that place them at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus / COVID-19.

Should I continue to take my blood pressure medication?

Yes. If you have high blood pressure, it’s critically important that you keep your blood pressure under control to lower your risk for heart disease and strokes. Take your blood pressure medications as directed, keep a log of your blood pressure every day if you are able to take your blood pressure at home, and work with your healthcare team to make sure your blood pressure is well controlled. Before you make any changes in your medications, you should consult with your medical doctor for the best advice on how to do so. Otherwise, you should continue all your regular medications, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-Is) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), as prescribed by your healthcare team.

COVID-19 Coronavirus & CHILDREN

What is the risk of my child at risk of getting Coronavirus / COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for Coronavirus COVID-19 than adults. However, you should note that COVID-19 has been recorded children and infants but adults make up most of the known cases to date.

Do symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 in children differ from those in adults?

The symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed Coronavirus / COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhoea have also been reported. It’s not yet known for certain whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, especially those with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs.

Can breast milk transmit the Coronavirus disease?

The transmission of the COVID-19 virus through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected. While breastfeeding, a mother should still implement appropriate hygiene measures, including wearing a medical mask if available, to reduce the possibility of droplets with COVID-19 being spread to her infant.

Should children wear face masks?

CDC recommends that everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should not be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation. Children younger than 2 years of age are listed as an exception as well as anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

How can I prepare my children for Coronavirus / COVID-19 community outbreak?

You need to be calm when you decide to talk with your children about the outbreak and reassure them that they are safe. If appropriate, explain to them that most illness from COVID-19 seems to be mild and they shouldn’t worry so much but they need to take care so that they don’t get sick. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults.

SCHOOL DISMISSALS & CHILDREN

While school is out can my children hang out with friends?

It’s not really advisable for children to go and hang out with other children from other families this is mainly because the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. If it’s absolutely essential for these children to interact with other children outside their own homes, they endeavour to remain 6 feet from anyone who is not in their own household.

To help children remain socially connected with their friends while social distancing, help your children have supervised phone calls or video chats with their friends.

While school is out, how can I help my child continue learning?

Here are some of the guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your child stays learning.

Stay in touch with your child’s school.

Many schools are offering virtual learning.  It is important for you to know what your child’s school has to offer in terms of assignments. You might also need to help your child establish a reasonable pace for completing the work. You may need to assist your child with turning on devices, reading instructions, and typing answers. In the case of technological or connectivity challenges, you should inform the child’s school

Create a schedule and routine for learning at home, but remain flexible.

You need to develop a consistent bedtime, as we as that for getting up throughout the weekdays, Monday through Friday. Come up with a structured time table for daily activities including learning or completion of school assignments as well as healthy meals and snacks, and physical activity. Allow flexibility in the schedule it’s okay to adapt based on your day.

Look for ways to make learning fun.

Have hands-on activities, like puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things which get the child to be both mentally and physically engaged in the execution of the assignment. Independent play can also be used in place of structured learning. Encourage children to build a fort from sheets or practice counting by stacking blocks.

Practice handwriting and grammar by writing letters to family members. This is a great way to connect and limit face-to-face contact.

Start a journal with your child to document this time and discuss the shared experience.

CLEANING & DISINFECTION

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfection?

Cleaning with soap and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces and it lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting, on the other hand, refers to the use of stronger detergents which kill germs on surfaces and this can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

How frequent should facilities be cleaned in order to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19?

Business facilities, hospitals and homes should do thorough routine cleaning practices so that they can maintain a healthy environment. Surfaces that are frequently touched by numerous people, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces, and handrails, should be cleaned with soap and water or another detergent at least daily when these facilities are in use. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on the level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

Is cleaning alone effective against Coronavirus?

No cleaning alone isn’t an effective way against coronavirus. Although cleaning, helps remove germs hence lowering the risk of spreading infection but it does not kill the germ which means the risk of infection still remains. If a surface may have gotten the virus on it from a person with or suspected to have COVID-19, the surface should be cleaned and disinfected immediately.

Coronavirus COVID-19 & ANIMALS

What animals can get COVID-19?

There is a small number of animals around the world reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after having contact with a person with COVID-19. We don’t know for sure which animals can or can’t be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the W.H.O and the CDC are aware of a small number of animals, including dogs, cats, lions and tigers have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Recent research shows that ferrets, cats, and golden Syrian hamsters can be experimentally infected with the virus and can spread the infection to other animals of the same species in laboratory settings.

Do I need to get my pet animal tested for Coronavirus / COVID-19?

Right now it shouldn’t be a priority for you to have your pet animal test since there are only a few cases of animals being tested positive for COVID-19

Can animals carry Coronavirus in their fur or skin?

As of today, there is no research finding to support this claim of animals skins having the virus that causes COVID-19. However, because animals can sometimes carry other germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, including washing hands before and after interacting with it

Can I walk my dog in during the Coronavirus/ COVID- 19 pandemic?

Yes, you can walk your dog during this pandemic because it is important for both animal and human health and wellbeing. As you walk your dog, put it on a leash, and try as much as possible to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others. To help maintain social distancing, do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.

What should I do if my pet gets sick and I think its Coronavirus / COVID-19?

In case your pet gets sick and you have reason to believe that it might have contracted COVID-19, you need to talk to your veterinarian about any health concerns you have about your pets. However, you shouldn’t carry your pet to the veterinary doctor but rather call them first and let them know the pet was around a person with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.

Why are animals being tested for Coronavirus COVID-19 yet many people cant get tested?

Animals are only being tested in very rare circumstances. Routine testing of animals is not recommended at this time, and any tests done on animals are done on a case by case basis. For example, if the pet of a COVID-19 patient has a new, concerning illness with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, the animal’s veterinarian might consult with public health and animal health officials to determine if testing is needed.

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