Nigerians brace for lockdown as Africa tries to halt virus Mar 31, 2020 0 1425 12345 AFPLagosOver 20 million Nigerians on Monday scrambled to prepare for lockdown in sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest city Lagos and the capital Abuja, as the continent struggled to curb the spread of coronavirus.President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a two-week “cessation of all movements” in the key cities from 2200 GMT in a bid to ward off an explosion of cases in Africa’s most populous country.Businesses are to be shuttered, non-food shops closed and people made to stay at home as the authorities look to track down possible carriers of the disease after reporting 111 confirmed cases and one death so far. Enforcing the restrictions in sprawling megacity Lagos will be a mammoth challenge as millions live crammed into overcrowded slums and rely on their daily earnings to survive. In the ramshackle outdoor markets of Lagos Island anxious locals complained they did not have the money to stock up, while at higher-end supermarkets better-off residents queued to buy supplies. “Two weeks is too long. I don’t know how we will cope,” said student Abdul Rahim, 25, as he helped his sister sell foodstuffs from a stall in Jankarra market. “People are hungry and they won’t be able to stock food.”City authorities have pledged to provide basic provisions to some 200,000 households but the central government in Africa’s biggest oil producer is already facing financial strain as the price of crude has collapsed. The streets of Ghana’s capital Accra were also empty as most people in two key regions appeared to be following a presidential order to stay indoors after it went into force overnight. Dozens of nations around Africa have imposed restrictions on movements, ranging from night-time curfews to total shutdowns. Authorities in Zimbabwe -- which is already suffering a grim economic recession -- began enforcing a three-week lockdown after the disease left one person dead and infected six others.Police mounted checkpoints on routes leading to the capital Harare’s central business district, stopping cars and turning away pedestrians who had no authorisation to be in the area.“We don’t want to see people here on the streets. We don’t want to see people who have no business in town just loitering,” a policewoman said through a loud hailer. “Everyone to their homes.”Some people in Harare were trying to head for rural villages.“We would rather spend the 21 days at our rural home, where we don’t have to buy everything. I can’t afford to feed my family here when I am not working,” said Most Jawure.“We have been waiting here for more than two hours but there are no buses,” Jawure told AFP while standing with his wife and daughter beside a bulging suitcase. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Iran coronavirus cases top 40,000 Mar 31, 2020 0 318 Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target Yemeni rebel posts in Sana’a Mar 31, 2020 0 269 Taliban kill dozens of Afghan forces in two attacks Mar 31, 2020 0 67 Banks reopen in Jordan as security personnel ensure safety measures Amman Banks reopened in Jordan on Monday, more than a week after they were closed as part of the kingdom’s measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. “You must wear a mask and gloves while visiting the branch and .. Calm restored at Kurd-run Syria jail after IS riot AFP Beirut Kurdish-led security forces said they restored calm on Monday at a prison in northeast Syria after a riot by Islamic State group inmates. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four detainees believed to .. Iran orders stop to printed newspapers amid coronavirus crisis Tehran Printed newspapers and magazines are to vanish from next month in Iran, which has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. “In order to effectively implement the plan to reduce social contacts .. S Africa to roll out mass screening for coronavirus: President Johannesburg South Africa, which has the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus infections on the continent, will start mass door-to-door screening and testing for coronavirus, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on ..