Ruth McDowall / AFP)

A staff member prepares a drone for the delivery of medical supplies at the drone delivery service base run by operator Zipline in Omenako, 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of Accra on April 23, 2019. – Ghana launched a fleet of drones on April 24, 2019 to carry medical supplies to remote areas, with Ghana’s President declaring it would become the “world’s largest drone delivery service.”

The news is full with bad reports about the Covid-19 pandemic which is wreaking havoc all over the world. With a vaccine at least months, if not a year away, there is cause for some optimism in the fight against the disease in the African continent. As we have been tracking how nations are dealing with the issue, we found some interesting ways in which African nations are handling the situation. 

Madagascar Unleashes Creativity in the Search for a Cure

In a recent television broadcast the president of the small African island nation of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, promoted an organic coronavirus remedy developed in his country called Covid Organic. Although the remedy has not been approved by the medical community, including the head of Madagascar’s Academy of Medicine, the president’s resolve seemed unwavering as he even took a shot of the drink during the promotion.

Developed by the Madagascar Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), and derived from herbs, including artemisia, a plant with renowned use in treating malaria, the President’s confidence in the beverage has been most highlighted by public door-to-door delivery of the beverage to citizens in the country’s capital Antananarivo

Senegal Providing Free Covid-19 Tests To all Citizens

While the coronavirus has placed the world in dire need of a vaccine, the West African nation of Senegal has embarked on a plan to provide affordable and readily available testing kits to its citizens, aimed at flattening the curve and curbing the spread of the disease.

Drawing from their experience in halting the spread of the Ebola virus, the country has also embarked on a rather lofty campaign to develop early-detection mobile kits and 3D-printed ventilators.

Ghana Using Drones to Deliver Covid-19 Supplies

All over the world, the coronavirus pandemic has attracted drastic measures, pragmatic decision-making and ingenious solutions, and unsurprisingly, black Africa’s first independent nation, Ghana has made commendable steps in such direction.

The Silicon Valley company, Zipline, working closely with Ghanaian authorities has begun employing the use of drones to shuttle medical supplies and transport samples from suspected coronavirus patients to labs in Ghana’s major cities. This measure is ensuring a faster and more efficient response to the virus in the country.

Botswana Mandates the use of Face Masks 

The government of Botswana has passed legislation making the use of face masks coverings in public places, including businesses and residential buildings, compulsory beginning May 1.

The authorities issued a guidance providing clarity on the type of masks to be worn by the general populace and those to be worn by healthcare workers. Some of the measures were designed to avoid scarcity of medical masks for those on the frontlines and most at risk, such as medical professionals, persons handling clinical waste or involved in other Covid-19 related activities.  

Nigeria Relaxes Covid-19 Lockdown Rules

In what many seem like a direct response to the socio-economic realities of the country, Nigeria’s president, Muhammad Buhari, in a recent national broadcast, informed Nigerians of his decision to start a cautious relaxation of the lockdown in the country’s largest city, Lagos, as well as in the capital city of Abuja.

Buhari asserted the importance of keeping the lockdown in place until May 4, and in line with the dire socio-economic situation faced by the African continent’s largest economy, the President underlined the importance of ensuring that Nigeria’s economy continues to function.

Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous nation and largest economy, has reported over 2,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and about 40 deaths so far.