Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have declared a state of emergency in an Africa gradually won by the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted South Africa to decide on a confinement.
Africa has so far been relatively spared by the pandemic: 2,137 cases, including 62 deaths, against more than 404,000 cases of contamination and more than 18,000 deaths in total on the planet, according to an assessment established by AFP from official sources Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. GMT.
But the weakness of the health systems of African countries raises serious fears.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Tuesday that a "real financial package" will be mobilized to help the most vulnerable countries, especially African.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on the G20 to support African economies by reducing their debt and preparing a $ 150 billion emergency financial assistance plan.
The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, a Khartoum-based Arab League institution, has announced that it is allocating $ 100 million to help sub-Saharan Africa deal with the coronavirus crisis.
The whole continent was in mourning on Tuesday after the disappearance of Manu Dibango, a Cameroonian saxophonist and legend of afro-jazz, who died in France at 86 years of age as a result of the coronavirus.
"The situation is serious"
"I tell you solemnly, the hour is serious," said Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday evening, announcing that he had ordered a "state of emergency" accompanied by a curfew.
To mitigate the economic and social impact in Senegal, a "response and solidarity" fund must be endowed with approximately 1.5 billion euros, of which 75 million are intended for emergency food aid.
At the Sandaga market in Dakar, the same words come up in the mouths of those who live on the sale of colorful fabrics, souvenirs, charms and shoes at low prices.
"It's very, very hard," say the vendors, pointing to the usually teeming place, deserted by customers and tourists.
"People here, before they die of the thing there - what is it called? - they're going to starve," said Sabah Amar, a busy cashier at a souvenir shop.
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Tshisekedi declared Tuesday evening "the state of emergency" as well as the isolation of the capital Kinshasa from the rest of the country.
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara did the same on Monday, adding a curfew to the state of emergency. And the executive could confine certain regions depending on developments.
Côte d'Ivoire recorded 48 new cases in two days, bringing the total to 73, according to the latest report Tuesday evening.
Ivorian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly announced that he had been placed in "self-containment" after having been "recently in contact" with an affected person.
"And now what do we do?" Wonders Nemy Fery, boss of a "maquis" of the great working-class district of Yopougon, in Abidjan.
"We are closing the maquis, the restaurants, but how do we feed our families? I'm going to try to make take-out meals, I'm also going to look for another job," he said.
Curfews exist elsewhere in Africa, notably in Mauritania, Egypt and Gabon.
In the East, cases have doubled in Rwanda (36) and South Sudan has announced the closure of its borders, except for the supply of food and fuel.
First death in Cape Verde
In Burkina Faso, 114 cases have been reported and four deaths.
Cape Verde and Niger announced their first deaths on Tuesday, after Zimbabwe and Nigeria (the most populous country in Africa) on Monday.
The epidemic also continues to spread rapidly in South Africa, the most affected country on the continent, with 554 cases of contamination.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said he expects the numbers to be "multiplied by three or four" over the next two weeks.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening ordered a three-week national confinement and the military is mobilized to enforce it.
Nombulelo Tyokolo, 41, an employee living in Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town, is concerned about confinement. What do you do when you live in a single room with a four-year-old son and you "have to look for water outside and go out to go to the toilet", she wonders.
The confinement also concerns Rwanda, Mauritius and the two largest cities of Madagascar, Tunisia and Algeria. Lubumbashi, economic capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been in confinement for 48 hours since Monday.
The state of emergency has been active in Namibia for a week. Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio on Tuesday declared a state of emergency "for a period of 12 months".