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Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Monday's stories

    We’ll be back on Tuesday

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now, we will now leave you with an automated service until Tuesday morning.

    Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: When the monkey is your friend, your clothes will never stay up the tree. from Sent by Julian in Accra, Ghana; Stephane Akoki in Salt Lake City, US; and Peter Seri in Nigeria.
    Sent by Julian in Accra, Ghana; Stephane Akoki in Salt Lake City, US; and Peter Seri in Nigeria.

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this intriguing view of Tanzania's newest skyscraper, the PPF Towers 2:

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  2. 'Empty streets on day one of Zimbabwe lockdown'

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC News, Harare

    A man walks through empty streets in Harare's usually bustling business district
    Image caption: A lone man walks across the capital city's usually bustling central business district

    Zimbabwe's police force including riot police were out in full force patrolling the streets and stopping vehicles and people on the streets to check whether they had authority to be out in public.

    Zimbabweans have largely stayed home. The streets are quiet. Market stalls in Mbare - the heart of the informal sector - have stood empty.

    One man who mostly washes cars for a living told me he is already struggling to feed his family. The government should have allowed vendors to operate but given everyone protective masks and gloves to wear, he told me.

    Others told me they wanted to stay home, fearful of how the coronavirus has affected other countries.

    Zimbabwe's government has announced it will divert budgets mainly towards healthcare. Doctors and nurses continue to insist they will only work when PPE’s are provided.

    Zimbabwe is facing an economic crisis, and high unemployment that has sparked concerns about how millions of people forced to stay home will survive for coming weeks.

    Drought has left about half of the country’s population hungry and in need of food aid.

    One million households are to receive cash handouts as announced in the government's Covid-19 relief package. Many more remain in desperate need of help, at least until this lockdown ends.

  3. Pastor charged for denying coronavirus exists in Africa

    People queuing outside a pharmacy in Kampala
    Image caption: Ugandans panic-bought last week but so far there has been no lockdown

    Ugandan authorities have charged a controversial pastor who is accused of telling his congregation that there is no coronavirus in Africa.

    Prosecutors accuse Augustine Yiga of making the comments to the Revival Christian Church congregation on Friday, in comments carried by local television stations.

    He denied the charges.

    "Claiming that Covid-19 doesn't exist in Africa and Uganda undermines government efforts in fighting the epidemic and exposes the public to great danger of laxity in observing the guidelines on its control and prevention," Uganda police spokesman Patrick Onyango is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

    The pastor faces a jail term of up to seven years.

    Uganda has reported 33 cases of the virus.

  4. Zimbabwe doctors refuse to work without protective kit

    Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Zimbabwe are refusing to work because they say they don't have the equipment needed to protect themselves against catching coronavirus.

    The Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association Dr Emmanuel Masosota told BBC Newsday that they are asking for the adequate equipment outlined in the World Health Organization's guidelines.

    Personal protective equipment can include eye protection, a gown and gloves.

    Illustration of man in personal protective equipment

    Dr Masosota added that the number of Italian doctors who have died after getting coronavirus was "worrisome".

    Listen to his full interview on BBC Newsday:

    Video content

    Video caption: 'We are not abandoning the people... but we're worried about our own safety'
  5. Congolese star Koffi Olomidé pens coronavirus song

    Koffi Olomidé is the latest musician to release a song warning people to stay safe as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold.

    His offering is called Coronavirus Assassin, meaning "Killer Coronavirus". Singing in Lingala and French, he urges listeners to stay indoors.

    "The enemy is faceless," he adds, likening the pandemic to a war:

    View more on youtube

    It comes days after Ugandan musician and MP Bobi Wine released Corona Virus Alert, which urged people to follow hygiene advice and practise social distancing.

    Uganda and DR Congo have 33 and 81 confirmed coronavirus cases respectively.

    Congolese star Koffi Olomidé announced earlier this month that he was returning to Kenya to perform, four years after the country deported him for assault. But with travel restrictions in place in Kenya it seems unlikely this can now go ahead.

    The musician has had many run-ins with the law. Last year, a French court found him guilty of statutory rape.

  6. Liberia riot police deployed against angry hawkers

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC News, Monrovia

    Riot Police in Monrovia

    Riot police have been deployed in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, to maintain order as thousands of angry roadside sellers took to the streets to protest the demolition of their stalls.

    The demolition was part of government’s measures to discourage gatherings in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The market sellers woke up on Monday morning to find their stalls had been demolished overnight without prior notice.

    In reaction, they marched through central Monrovia on Monday afternoon chanting “no tables, no stores,” and forcing foreign-owned stores to shut their doors since they, the locals, were not being allowed to sell.

    Columns of riot police were seen marching and taking positions at key intersections as the marketers’ protest entered the city centre.

    The health ministry had declared a three-week medical emergency, banning worship services, and urging people to stay home.

    But in a country where people live far below the poverty line, many have to flout the order to get out in search of food and basic necessities.

  7. 'SA man shot dead' during coronavirus lockdown

    A policeman and security guard shot a man dead during the coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, South African police are quoted as saying to Reuters news agency.

    Police officers found men drinking in Vosloorus township, just south of Johannesburg, in defiance of the lockdown, police spokesman Sontaga Seisa said in a statement.

    The police said that officers were attacked when they tried to arrest the men.

    The policeman spokesman was quoted as saying that the policeman and a guard then followed one of the men to his house, where Sibusiso Amos was shot dead.

    His aunt Nomayeza is quoted in The Soweten as saying that four grandchildren aged between five and 11 were also injured and were rushed to hospital.

    The two suspects in the killing have been arrested, Reuters reports.

  8. 'Hundreds flee Islamist militants' in northern Mozambique

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    Hundreds of people are arriving in the Mozamican city of Pemba, mostly by boat, from areas attacked by Islamist militants last week, reports the independent TV station STV.

    Residents' houses were destroyed in attacks in Mocimboa da Praia and Quissinga town last week.

    Local leaders are quoted as saying on STV that around 250 families have arrived in the area.

    Islamist militants, locally known as al-Shaabab, though with no known links with the Somali group of the same name, operate in the area.

  9. Kenya confirms eight more coronavirus cases

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Daily Nation in a supermarket
    Image caption: Kenyans have to get their shopping before the dusk-to-dawn curfew

    Kenya has confirmed eight more cases of coronavirus, bringing the country's total to 50.

    Among the new cases is one person in mandatory quarantine.

    Just over 80 of 2,000 people in mandatory quarantine have been tested, after day one of mass testing announced by the state.

    Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says the spread of the virus has now reached community level – meaning some new cases are no longer imported from travellers or their close contacts.

    Mr Kagwe says Kenya has tested 1,005 people for Coronavirus so far.

    Currently Kenya can carry out no more than 300 tests a day.

  10. Tanzania confirms five new coronavirus cases

    Sammy Awami

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Woman in queue squirting sanitiser on 16 March
    Image caption: Last week sanitiser could be seen on the streets of Dar es Salaam

    The number of coronavirus cases in Tanzania has risen to 19, after the health ministry confirmed five new cases on Monday.

    Among the new cases, two of those affected are based in the Zanzibar archipelago while three of the patients are in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

    All three of the patients identified in Dar es Salaam are Tanzanians aged between 21 and 49.

    Each had been in contact with people suspected of carrying the virus.

    Two of the patients, a 21-year-old woman and a 49-year-old man, tested positive after the ministry tracked them down as part of contact-tracing efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

    Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu identified three health facilities in or near Dar es Salaam which are ready to receive patients.

    Two of the centres will be dedicated to the isolation of suspected cases, and the third will be used for treatment of patients who have tested positive for the virus.

    There have so far been no deaths in the country attributed to coronavirus. The first confirmed case from two weeks ago remains the only patient so far to have made a recovery.

  11. Sierra Leone scraps ban on pregnant girls from going to school

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Baby
    Image caption: Almost a third of girls in Sierra Leone become pregnant before they are 18

    The government of Sierra Leone has overturned a ban on pregnant girls from attending school.

    The ministry of education said it was committed to ensuring all children had the right to go to school, regardless of their status.

    In December, the West African regional bloc’s court ruled that the ban was unlawful as it infringed on human rights.

    The measure was introduced in 2015 when an epidemic of the Ebola disease led to school closures and an increase in teenage pregnancies.

    Thousands of girls were affected by the ban which forced them to attend special schools or leave altogether, and forbade them from taking exams.

    Around 30% of girls in Sierra Leone become pregnant and 40% are married by the age of 18.

  12. Celebrities tell Egyptians not to kill their cats

    BBC World Service

    There have been calls in Egypt for people not to abandon or put down their pets after false rumours that they could carry coronavirus.

    A group of Egyptian celebrities has put out a video in which they hug their pets and urge people to look after them as normal:

    View more on twitter

    The World Health Organization said there is no evidence that pets can be infected by Covid-19. Further tests are being carried out to understand if and how animals are affected.

    It's thought that the virus was originally passed to humans from animals but it is still not known how, and there are no recorded instances of humans catching it from their pets.

  13. African governments increase help to poor

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Sacks of grain
    Image caption: Kenya is to distribute cereals to the poor (file photo)

    As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Africa, governments in some countries are taking measures to help poor people affected by lockdowns and other restrictions.

    In Rwanda, which has the highest number of confirmed cases in East Africa, President Paul Kagame says food is being distributed to the most vulnerable, although thousands of families say they are being left out.

    In Kenya, the ministry of agriculture says it will distribute cereals to the poor, while religious organisations and businesses are calling for food donations.

    In some countries, harsh measures have been used against those ignoring restrictions. In Ethiopia, police shot dead a man who failed to abide by a ban on visiting bars.

  14. Germany to fly out 7,000 tourists stuck in South Africa

    A South African Airways plane takes off
    Image caption: South African Airways will provide the repatriation flights

    The German embassy in South Africa is making plans to repatriate some 7,000 of its nationals who are stuck in the country.

    Already, 47 German tourists are under quarantine in the country after one of them tested positive to Covid-19, according to local media reports.

    South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa - 1,280 by the latest count, and is under a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.

    German ambassador to South Africa Martin Schäfer on Monday told SA FM Radio that they estimate there could be between "seven to nine thousand Germans stuck in the country".

    He said:

    Quote Message: We have political will in Germany, we have the means and the money to do it [repatriation] and I think it's the most human thing to do to help get them home.
    Quote Message: We need a lot of help. We have a strong partner in South African Airways who is willing to help us with the repatriation flights and we rely now somewhat on the assistance... of the South African government to make sure that our people can make it to the airport and can be flown out."

    The embassy tweeted a link to the full interview:

    View more on twitter
  15. Ghana begins coronavirus lockdown

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    People queue for gas
    Image caption: People queued for gas after the president's announcement

    Authorities in Ghana have started a two-week lockdown on Monday of three cities - Accra, Tema and Kumasi - that were identified as hotspots for the spread of coronavirus.

    President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the order on Friday to prevent the spread of the virus and help with being able to trace people who've been in contact with positive cases.

    It prompted a mass movement of people out of those three affected cities over the weekend. This in turn has raised serious concerns about the possibility of people spreading the disease in other parts of the country.

    Only Ghanaians providing essential services like health workers, some key government officials, restaurants and food vendors can now go out.

    Residents of the affected cities will also be allowed to go out to buy food.

    Commercial vehicles are operating but with a reduced number of passengers.

    Over 35,000 joint police and military personnel have been deployed to enforce the directives.

    Ghana's borders remain shut. The country has so far recorded more than 150 confirmed cases of the disease and five deaths.

  16. Somali governor wounded in bomb blast

    BBC World Service

    A map showing the location of Garowe in Somalia's autonomous region of Puntland.

    A suicide bomber has seriously wounded a senior official in the autonomous Somali region of Puntland.

    Reports say the governor of Nugal province, Abdisalan Hassan Hirsi, and a former regional police commissioner, Farah Galangole, were attacked by a man wearing a suicide vest who approached their car in the Puntland capital of Garowe.

    The two men are receiving treatment in hospital.

    The al-Shabab Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is a comparatively rare occurrence in Garowe.

  17. SA pensioners allowed out of lockdown to collect grants

    Pensioners and others who collect social grants in South Africa have been allowed out of their houses on the fourth day of lockdown to collect their money from the government.

    Local media reported that thousands queued across the country with most not observing one metre distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    The BBC's Nomsa Maseko filmed a pensioners queue with carefully spaced out chairs.

    View more on twitter

    But South Africa Broadcasting Corporation tweeted a video of elderly people who were being pushed from the queues by young people:

    View more on twitter

    South Africa started a 21 day lockdown on Thursday evening to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    The country has reported more than 1,100 confirmed cases of the virus and two deaths.

  18. Kenya's parliament 'wants 50 MPs tested for virus'

    Kenya's parliament buildings
    Image caption: One MP has been confirmed as having Covid-19

    Kenya's lower house wants some 50 MPs to be tested for coronavirus amid fears they may have contracted the virus from a colleague who recently tested positive, the Daily Nation newspaper reports.

    Parliament has submitted to the health ministry the names of MPs and parliamentary staff it wants tested, the newspaper reports.

    It wants them placed on mandatory quarantine as well.

    The MP Kamoti Mwamkale reportedly got infected after coming into contact with Kilifi's deputy governor - who is also infected after he recently returned from Germany.

    Mr Mwamkale is undergoing treatment, the newspaper reports, quoting a parliamentary official.

    He was reportedly in parliament on 17 March for 19 minutes and may have attended meetings of parliamentary committees.

    Kenya has confirmed 42 cases of coronavirus. It has closed off its borders and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

  19. Fishermen cash in as Chinese imports drop

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Women buying fish from fishermen at a beach in Lake Victoria
    Image caption: Sellers say fearful Kenyans are choosing local over foreign produce

    Sales of fresh fish in Kenya have risen as imports from China have dropped amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sellers in Dunga Beach on the shores of Lake Victoria report a jump in trade of about 40% over two weeks.

    "The fishermen are really now smiling at the Lake Victoria region because we are receiving more visitors. Dunga is really crowded with a lot of the residents of Kisumu coming to buy the fresh fish because people fear the Chinese boxed fish due to the coronavirus," says Maurice Misodhi, a fisherman and leader at the Dunga Beach Management Unit.

    Local fish costs about twice as frozen fish from China, of which Kenya imported more than $23m (£19m) worth in 2018.

    Chinese fish used to make up about 50% of the market but this has fallen since imports stopped in November and the virus outbreak later took hold.

    Before the coronavirus outbreak, local fishermen complained that cheap imports harmed local trade so much that they often resorted to eating their catch themselves or giving much of it away.

    But the scarcity of Chinese fish isn’t good news for everyone. Caroline Ochieng, a fish seller says she is struggling to make a decent profit because Chinese fish is cheaper than local lake fish.

    "That is the reason we want the China fish to be in supply as well as that from our own lake - so that as we do business we don't feel the burden."

    There are worries that local fishermen won’t be able to keep up with new demand for fresh fish. But for now at least, they are making the most of the surge in trade.

  20. 'Coronavirus curfew drone shot down' in Sudan

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Khartoum street
    Image caption: The streets of Sudan's capital Khartoum are empty during the curfew

    Sudan's presidential guards shot down a drone that turned out to be monitoring a curfew put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus , according to al-Sahya newspaper.

    The guards shot down the drone when it flew over the home of the Sovereign Council President Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Friday, al-Sahya adds.

    A source told al-Sayha that the drone belonged to the security forces and was on a mission to monitor the night curfew and had strayed off course.

    The curfew was imposed on Monday 23 March.