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Zimbabwe: Govt Playing Politics With Food Aid Distribution - Amnesty

allAfrica  

[VOA] As southern Africa battles the coronavirus pandemic, Amnesty International warns that in some areas, authorities are tying food aid to recipients' political affiliation.  It says the problem is especially acute in rural Zimbabwe, where people who don't belong to the ruling party are being denied the means to survive.

Ethiopia coronavirus: Tigray region’s first four cases takes tally to 191

Africanews  

May 3: Afwerki in town for 2-day visit Case count reached 135 with two new infections out of 1,560 tests. In addition, 6 more patients from Dire Dawa have recovered, bringing the recovery tally to 75. There is no patient in Intensive Care Unit; with 55 patients in the isolation / treatment center. Ethiopia has so far conducted 22, 330 lab tests. Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki arrived in Addis Ababa for a two-day official visit. He left Asmara on Sunday morning for a meeting meant to touch on three areas. Bilateral ties, COVID-19 response and locust invasion as well as regional issues, Eritrean Information Minister disclosed on Twitter. Photos of the meeting shared by PM Abiy showed Afwerki seated at a public restaurant along with his host and President Sahle-Work Zewde. Also in attendance is former PM Hailemariam Desalegn. Good to welcome again President Isaias Afwerki to #Ethiopia for a two-day meeting where we will be exchanging on bilateral and regional issues as well as the challenges we are currently faced with as a global community. pic.twitter.com/jbUmLj3KbN— Abiy Ahmed Ali ?? (@AbiyAhmedAli) May 3, 2020 May 1: Ethiopia’s recoveries passes active cases Ethiopia recorded two new cases in over 900 tests run as at close of day April 30. The first tallies for May thus stood at 133 according to Health Minister Lia Tadesse. The two new cases were both Ethiopians. One with travel history from Kenya and the other Somalia. Per today’s records, Ethiopia recorded seven more recoveries bringing the tally to 66 from previous 59. The figure is four more than the number of patients currently under treatment. The patients are in the isolation / treatment center in Eka Kotebe Hospital in the capital Addis Ababa. Deaths recorded still stands at three whiles there is no patient in Intensive Care Unit, ICU. Ethiopia has recorded single digit increases over the past seven days as compared to double digits by some of its neighbours in the East and Horn of Africa region. A total of 15 cases in total was recorded between April 24 – 30. April 23: Tigray region relaxes state of emergency Northern Tigray regional state, the first to declare a COVID-19 state of emergency have announced a relaxing of the measure, the regional information outfit reported. The state of emergency declared in late March is now expected to last for three months according to the state council. In explaining the rationale for the current move, regional deputy president Debretsion Gebremichael said despite being uninfected till date, the region had in the past weeks undertaken intense door-to-door screening to detect any early symptoms of the virus. He added that 23,000 professionals had been deployed and had covered a million and half households in the process. All 33 suspected cases detected turned out negative hence the decision to relax the emergency rule. Under the relaxed regime, civil servants will be returning to work whiles inter-state movement will resume. Bars and restaurants are allowed to open but to serve customers on take-away basis. The region has, since April 12 been implementing a 14-day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals at its main airport Alula Aba Nega airport, the privately-run Addis Standard reported citing a BBC Amharic report. The quarantine measures remain in place along with bans remain on social gathering. Meanwhile, all operations that are now allowed per law must be conducted within strict limits of social distancing and observance of other COVID-19 prevention protocols. The state was also the first to get a testing center. Ethiopia is currently under a five-month state of emergency declared earlier this month to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Council of Ministers led by PM Abiy Ahmed declared the measure following which lawmakers endorsed it on April 10. Abiebie Adanech, Attorney General disclosed that the SOE unlike previous ones is supervised by the Council of Ministers & Ministerial sub committees – the later to be established on an as and when basis. Ethiopia’s case count as of April 24 stood at 117, an increase of one from the previous tally. The number of recoveries reached 25 after 4 new patients recovered in the last 24 hrs. Ethiopia has so far conducted a total of 11, 669. The new patient is a 60 year-old Ethiopian woman with a travel history from the England and is currently in mandatory quarantine. April 23: Ethiopia records zero cases over 24-hour period Ethiopia recorded no new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since April 2, Health Minister Lia Tadesse said in a statement on Thursday. All 965 tests run over a 24-hour duration tested negative. The case count thus remains at 116. 21 recoveries have been recorded with three deaths. 90 patients remain in treatment centers. The ministry’s statement added that the zero positive results “do not indicate the decline of COVID-19 in Ethiopia but it showed the tested individuals were not infected with the virus.” #Ethiopia reports NO #covid19ethiopia confirmed cases for the first time since Apr 2. #Covid19 testing has also increased by 42% from last week, with a total # of 10,736 tests administered thus far. It feels good to hear some good news for once.addisstandard lia_tadesse pic.twitter.com/0VMkh3bOp5— Harun (@Harun_Asefa) April 23, 2020 April 20: Cases reach 111, all new cases in Dire Dawa The case count as of April 20 had reached 111 according to health minister Lia Tadesse’s update for today. Ethiopia crossed the 100 mark over the weekend. All three cases recorded over the last 24-hours were recorded in the chartered city of Dire Dawa with patients between the ages of 11 – 18. Two of them had travel history from Djibouti. Till date, Ethiopia has 90 patients in treatment centers. The death toll is still at three with 16 recoveries. A patient is in intensive care. East / Horn of Africa top tallies Djibouti – 846 Mauritius – 328 Kenya – 270 Tanzania – 170 Somalia – 164 Rwanda – 147 Ethiopia – 111 I visited the #COVID19 treatment center recently setup within Millenium Hall by our very able & capable medical professionals.I am pleased at how quickly the site was transformed to a hospital setup.The preparedness for any extreme eventualities in similar spaces will continue. pic.twitter.com/U4040Bj3GW— Abiy Ahmed Ali ?? (@AbiyAhmedAli) April 19, 2020 April 17: Cases near 100, Chinese doctors arrive to help Chinese doctors arrived in Ethiopia on Thursday to support government efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Another group are in Burkina Faso for the same purpose. State-owned China Global Television Network reported their departure on Thursday disclosing that they had been pooled from Sichuan Province and Tianjin Municipality. They will share experience, provide guidance and technical advice on epidemic prevention in the two countries, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian is quoted as saying. Nigeria was the first African country last week to receive a Chinese delegation whiles South Africa also confirmed that it would be seeking Chinese help in combating the pandemic. “The Chinese Anti-pandemic Medical Expert Team to Ethiopia arrived today to share their ample experience in prevention and control of #COVID19 and to deliver urgently needed medical supplies. My heartfelt gratitude for the solidarity witnessed at this crucial time,” Ethiopia’s Health Minister Lia Tadesse tweeted. The experts specialize in various areas, including general surgery, epidemiology, respiratory, infectious diseases, critical care, clinical laboratory and integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine. The team also carries urgently needed medical supplies including protective equipment, and traditional Chinese medicine that has been tested effective by clinical practice, reports noted. The team will also cooperate and exchange views with African Disease Control Center and WHO office in Ethiopia. The Chinese Anti-pandemic Medical Expert Team to Ethiopia arrived today to share their ample experience in prevention and control of #COVID19 and to deliver urgently needed medical supplies. My heartfelt gratitude for the solidarity witnessed at this crucial time. pic.twitter.com/MCZNqW7rx2— Lia Tadesse (@lia_tadesse) April 16, 2020 April 14: Cases hit 82, Bill gates donates to Addis Ababa city admin Ethiopia’s COVID-19 file as of April 14 has 82 cases (eight new cases) with three deaths and 14 recoveries. The total number of tests stands at 4,557. Active cases stand at 63 representing about 77% of recorded cases. Ethiopian COVID-19 Cases Updates Meanwhile the Addis Ababa City Administration has announced a 200 million birr commitment from the Gates Foundation. The news was disclosed by Mayor Takele Uma-Banti via Twitter. The city has been the most impacted in Africa’s second most populous nation. Of the eight new cases, five of them are Ethiopians with the other three being Eritrean, Somali and British nationals. All but 1 have either travel history abroad, or contacts with previous patients, the Minister disclosed at a daily briefing. “My heartfelt thanks goes to the Gates Foundation for just making a 200 million birr commitment to our city! You are a genuine partner & this will go a long way in building up our defenses against the spread of #COVID19 & the larger impact of this pandemic on our communities,” he added. Health Minister Lia Tadesse also announced that health professionals accommodation received a boost after a local real estate giant availed a brand new apartment block for three months to house the workers. “My profound appreciation to Noah Real Estate for generously handing over it’s brand new apartment for three months as a residence for our Health professionals combating COVID19 (in) Ethiopia,” the Minister tweeted. My heartfelt thanks goes to the Gates Foundation for just making a 200 million birr commitment to our city! You are a genuine partner & this will go a long way in building up our defenses against the spread of #COVID19 & the larger impact of this pandemic on our communities.— Takele Uma Banti (@TakeleUma) April 14, 2020 April 13: Cases hit 74, regional testing boost, ventilators expected Ethiopia’s COVID-19 file as of April 13 has 74 cases with three deaths and 14 recoveries. The country is seeking to boost its ventilator reserves according to Health Minister Lia Tadesse. She disclosed to local media outlets that procurement of 400 ventilators was ongoing. She said Ethiopia had 435 ventilators at last count, many of which dysfunctional. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, another 122 ventilators were imported. Weeks back a private hospital held training for medics on how to use the life-saving respiratory devices which are currently a hot cake globally given their central role in saving patients with acute conditions of coronavirus. Minister Lia is also quoted as stressing that healthcare professionals caring for COVID-19 patients will be provided with life insurances. PM Abiy also announced via Twitter that local production of face masks was ongoing at an industrial park. According to him, companies in Hawasa Industrial Park were currently producing 10,000 face masks per day with production expected to be scaled up to 50,0000 per day. Our industries are adapting to the times. Companies in Hawasa Industrial Park undeterred and shifting operations to meet immediate needs. Currently producing 10k face masks per day to increase to 50k/day. Well done. I encourage other companies to innovate and adapt. pic.twitter.com/XDqGY4UYhZ— Abiy Ahmed Ali ?? (@AbiyAhmedAli) April 12, 2020 Meanwhile, regional testing of the virus got a further boost after a laboratory went operational at the Haramaya University near Harar city, over the weekend. The lab’s coordinator Dr. Nega Assefa said if all inputs are available smoothly, the lab has the capacity to test 384 samples every 2 hours. Tigray region’s Mekelle University became the first outside of Addis Ababa to have a testing laboratory weeks back. Late last week, Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara region, started testing for COVID-19. The test started at the region’s Public Health Institute and had a capacity to conduct 100 tests daily. The region said at the time that it was working to expand similar works to 3 cities: Gonder, Dessie and Debre Birhan. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } April 11: Cases hit 69, medics join virtual training, Abiy donates As of April 11, cases in Ethiopia had reached 69 according to Health Minister Lia Tadesse’s updates. The number of new cases were four, three of whom had travel history. 54 patients remain in treatment whiles recoveries have reached 10. three deaths and two repatriations complete the fact sheet. Meanwhile, the first China-Africa virtual seminar took place on Friday involving exchanges between an Ethiopian team and counterparts from a Chinese university. The session was facilitated by the Jack Ma Foundation. The foundation posted on Twitter: “Knowledge is power! Yesterday, we hosted our first COVID-19 China-Africa GMCC webinar. The 2nd Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang Univ. joined Ethiopia’s Health Minister, St. Paul’s Hospital and 20+ Ethiopian hospitals online. More webinars to come with Rwanda, Zimbabwe & others!” Meanwhile Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and First Lady Zenash Tayachew have made donations to the Addis Ababa City Administration. The food supplies donated were to help the city administration to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by supporting the vulnerable. #Ethiopia: PM, First Lady hand over food supplies to #AddisAbaba city administration https://t.co/Qxqi1vALEh pic.twitter.com/fI52pUePhM— FBC (Fana Broadcasting Corporate S.C.) (@fanatelevision) April 11, 2020 April 10: MPs approve state of emergency The Ethiopian Parliament has today approved the five-month state of emergency declared to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Council of Ministers led by PM Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday declared the measure to control the spread of the virus and reduce its impact on the country. Ethiopia’s current tallies stand at 56 confirmed cases, out of which four have recovered and two have died. Two of the patients have been repatriated weeks back. Abiebie Adanech, Attorney general disclosed yesterday that the COVID-19 State of Emergency (SOE) will be supervised by the Council of Ministers & Ministerial sub committees – the later to be established on an as and when basis. Previous State of Emergencies have been overseen by Command Posts (CP), which have often been accused of gross abuse of rights including targeted arrests and use of lethal force against persons believed to flout the orders. April 9: Ethiopian courts to hear domestic violence cases Ethiopia’s Chief Justice on Thursday disclosed that federal courts will listen to domestic violence cases that arise from the stay at home order occasioned by a state of emergency declaration on Wednesday April 8. CJ Meaza Ashenafi disclosed the measure on Twitter: “Considering the possibility of an increase in domestic violence during the #StayAtHome period, a decision is made for federal courts to entertain charges of domestic violence as an urgent type of case.” On March 18, the federal courts announced partial closure as means of containing spread of the coronavirus. The courts were not to accept new files except cases requiring urgent attention. On April 1, the closure was extended by another 23 days. Government imposed a five-month state of emergency across the territory, the sternest measure yet for Africa’s second most populous nation. All land borders had been closed and most regional states had strict bans on public transport. Ethiopia’s COVID-19 tallies as of April 9 midday local time stood at 55 cases with four recoveries and two deaths. The figure is relatively low for a region where neighbours had recorded 100+ cases. The incidence of increasing gender-based violence amid lockdowns across the world was raised by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a recent address calling for more to be done to stem the threat. More than 1 million people were systematically murdered in just 100 days during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. We must never again let such an atrocity occur. We must say no to hate speech & xenophobia & reject the forces of polarization, nationalism & protectionism. pic.twitter.com/54LdvZTsTO— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 7, 2020 April 8: State of Emergency declared, First Lady sings The Ethiopian government has imposed a five-month State of Emergency in the wake of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. A statement released by the Attorney General’s office says constitutional rights to be suspended. The implementation of the emergency rule starts today. Most regions across the country had banned the operation of most means of public transport including the capital Addis Ababa, which is the epicenter of the virus in the country. Already, the northern Tigray Region had declared a state of emergency at a time they had recorded no cases. The region is also the first to get testing capacity outside of the national facilities in Addis Ababa. The national tally as of April 8 was 55 with three new cases from the last round of tests. Meanwhile, government says it has prepared 645 houses to be given to healthcare professionals helping COVID19 patients. Additional 600 houses are under preparation. Health Minister Lia Tadesse further disclosed that the ministry is working hard to provide Personal Protective Equipment obtained through supports and purchases. In other news, First Lady Zinash Tayachew aside recent donations towards the coronavirus fight, has released a gospel song seeking divine intervention in the battle against the pandemic. In the 6 minute long song, she pleads for “God’s mercy” as the world continues the battles against coronavirus. The song was released on Tuesday and is titled Maren – an Amharic word meaning “have mercy on us.” The first lady sings on a stage with a cross behind her at a point kneeling and praying for “God not to abandon her people.” The song does not directly refer to the virus, but has phrases like “do not abandon us during this time when the world is terrorised by bad news.” Originally uploaded on the YouTube handle of one Joyce Girma Official,, it has raked some 6,000 plus views as at the time of publication of this article. READ MORE: Ethiopia PM cheered for publicly showing affection to First Lady .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } April 6: Addis Abab to relocate main market, deaths recorded The Addis Ababa City Administration has announced that it is temporarily relocating a famous tarding center, the Atikilit Tera market to an open space as of tomorrow April 7. Atikilit Tera is reputed as the biggest fruits and vegetable markets in the city. Its population is to move to an open space in Jan Meda, city mayor Takele Uma said. The relocation will be implemented with “strict discipline,” he added. The city authorities have been undertaking series of measures aimed at combating the pandemic which has infected 44 people according to latest figures from Health Ministry. Ethiopia also recorded first deaths from the disease over the weekend. “The patient was admitted on April 2nd and was under strict medical follow up in the Intensive Care Unit,” Minister Lia Tadesse said of the first victim, a 60-year-old woman. The second victim, a 56-year-old Ethiopian man, had been in ICU for three days. Meanwhile, religious leaders – Orthodox Church, Islamic – have declared 30 days of fasting and prayers. The leaders met with the city administration of Sunday. “These uncharted times require an immense amount of unity & humility. I am confident that as we rise to this challenge God will surely show his Mercy. May God bless our people,” the Mayor posted on Twitter after the meeting. #COVID19: #AddisAbeba City Admin is temporarily relocating the famous #AtikilitTera market, the biggest fruits & vegetable markets in the city, to the open space in #JanMeda as of tomorrow, TakeleUma said. The relocation will be implemented with “strict discipline”, Takele Said. pic.twitter.com/Rcnt17M64s— Addis Standard (addisstandard) April 6, 2020 April 3: Ethiopia cases reach 35, Jack Ma donation distributed Confirmed cases of the virus have reached 35 in Ethiopia with six new cases being the highest rise since the first case was recorded last month. Ethiopia’s current tally is relatively low as compared to other countries in the region like Kenya and Rwanda with 122 and 84 respectively. There is a general ban on movement and restriction on public gatherings in the different regional states. The federal government is leading the virus response. All land borders were closed last week as a containment measure. Cases have been concentrated in Addis Ababa with Oromia and Ahmara region as well as Dire Dawa having recorded cases. pic.twitter.com/HcwdleVnXA— Lia Tadesse (@lia_tadesse) April 3, 2020 Ethiopia races to bolster ventilator stockpile for coronavirus fight In four years as a doctor in Ethiopia, Rediet Libanos has used a mechanical ventilator just once: on a patient who suffered a haemorrhagic stroke a few months ago. But as the country braces for a potential surge in coronavirus, the 28-year-old and many of her colleagues are scrambling to master the workings of the breathing machines, which buy time for critically-ill patients. During a training this week in Addis Ababa, Rediet and six other doctors got a refresher on how to optimise oxygen volume and pressure for patients whose lungs are failing, practicing first on a green rubber dummy organ before visiting clinics to see ventilators in action. Though Ethiopia has reported only 29 cases of COVID-19, two of them critical, Rediet expects the country will soon see an onslaught of patients for whom ventilation could mean the difference between life and death. “I will be on the front lines of that, so I need to be skilled in how to use this machine,” she told AFP. Yet even as doctors study up on ventilation techniques, Ethiopia’s government — like others in Africa — is confronting a stark ventilator shortage that could hobble its COVID-19 response. In a country of more than 100 million people, just 54 ventilators — out of around 450 total — had been set aside for COVID-19 patients as of this week, said Yakob Seman, director general of medical services at the health ministry. By comparison, the US state of New York, the current centre of the pandemic, has said it could need tens of thousands of ventilators for a population of around 20 million. The Ethiopian health ministry’s own “worst-case scenario” modelling predicts the country will require around 1,500 ventilators for COVID-19 patients by the end of April, Yakob said. With producers overwhelmed by orders from around the globe, it’s not at all clear how this gap will be bridged, he said. “I’m really worried about a shortage,” Yakob said. “This is not because of the commitment of the government or lack of will, but because of lack of resources.” AFP April 1: Tigray is first regional state with COVID-19 lab Northern Tigray region has become the first regional state in Ethiopia to have a COVID-19 testing lab. This development comes at a time when the state has no confirmed case of the coronavirus pandemic. Reports indicate that the medical facility is as a result of cooperation between Mekelle University and the Tigray Health Bureau and Tigray Health Research Institute. The lab started work on April 1 in the presence of region’s Vice President Debretsion GhebreMichael. President of the university noted that the institution had the support of the Ethiopia Public Health Institute, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. This is the second “lead” since Ethiopia recorded a case last month. Tigray declared a state of emergency and near lockdown days before other states followed suit. Ethiopia currently has 29 confirmed cases of the virus according to the Ministry of Health. Government has shut all land borders except for essential imports coming in. Cases have been recorded in capital Addis Ababa, Oromia and Amhara regional states and in Dire Dawa, a chartered city. Breaking News: in a strong collaboration among Mekelle University, Tigray Bureau of Health & Tigray Health Research Institute, testing #coronavirus #Covid19 has began at #Mekelle – We thank all the committed professionals! Exemplary partnership! We made it hgodefay MekUniETH pic.twitter.com/jDVbHKyWd9— Kindeya G.hiwot, Prof (@DrKindeya) April 1, 2020 April 1: Close places of worship: Orthodox church follows Islamic council Barely twenty-four hours after the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, EIASC, announced cessation to all prayers in mosques, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, EOTC, announced a similar measure. The church’s Holy Synod at a press briefing on Wednesday said as of tomorrow followers of the Church, the largest in Ethiopia, should pray from home and only a limited number of priests should conduct prayers inside churches. The Holy Synod also decided that all premises of spiritual colleges, Sunday schools and other facilities under EOTC should be designated to serve as isolation centers for COVID19 suspected patients in the event of the possible spread. The church also donated 3 million birr to contain the virus. News Alert:#Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) said all Mosques should close down & members of the Muslim community should perform their prayers at home. It also said the Ulama Council has ordered to suspend all teaching-learning processes until #COVID19 is over pic.twitter.com/riPpmfeKEY— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) March 31, 2020 March 31: Al-Amoudi donates towards COVID-19 fight Ethiopia-born Saudi billionaire, Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi has made the biggest private donation yet to coronavirus combat in Ethiopia. He donated the sum of 120 million birr (about $3.6m) to the Addis Ababa city administration on Tuesday. Ethiopia as of midday March 31 had 25 confirmed cases of the virus. Transport has been banned in most parts of the country as government moves to curb spread. Infections have so far been recorded in the capital Addis Ababa, and in the oromia and Amhara regional states. Al-Amoudi who is owner of a mining firm Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Cos., MIDROC. He was arrested on corruption related charges by the Saudi government back in 2017 but was released in early 2019 after the active intervention of Prime Minister Abiya Ahmed Ali. Amoudi, in his 70s, became a multi-billionaire investing first in construction, agriculture and mining in Ethiopia, where he was born, and then purchasing oil refineries in Morocco and Sweden. Forbes valued his fortune at more than $10 billion in 2016. #Ethiopia: Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al-amoudi, chairman and owner of #MIDROC_Ethiopia has donated 120 million birr to fight #coronavirus (#COVID19) in #AddisAbaba pic.twitter.com/9I7v8tl5Zz— FBC (Fana Broadcasting Corporate S.C.) (@fanatelevision) March 31, 2020 March 30: Ethiopian regions ban transport Four regional states in Ethiopia have imposed a ban on transport as part of coronavirus containment measures. The regions are northern Tigray region (which has declared a state of emergency since last week.), Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region. Prior to the last weekend, cases were recorded only in Addis Ababa. Oromia recorded two cases on Saturday whiles the first two in Amhara region were recored on Monday. The federal government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed closed all land borders even as the national flier, Ethiopian, continues a very scaled down operations of passenger flights concentrating more on freight. The country currently has 23 confirmed cases out of which two have since been repatriated. Authorities say contact tracing efforts are underway whiles quarantined persons continue to be tested. March 29: Ethiopia reports cases outside Addis Ababa Ethiopia at close of day March 29 had reported 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19. An increase of five over the weekend. Three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Of the three cases on Saturday, one was recorded in the capital Addis Ababa and two in the town of Adama located in the Oromia region. It is the first reported case outside of the capital since the first cases was confirmed earlier this month. “The other two cases are a 14 year old male and 48 year old female who are members of a family who resides in Adama town. They had history of contact with previously confirmed case. They were under medical follow up since the confirmation of the close contact and tested positive on March 28th 2020,” a statement from the Ministry of Health read in part. Out of close to 900 tests, Ethiopia has recorded 21 cases, a recovery with two of the confirmed cases having been repatriated to their countries. Meanwhile more details are emerging from the state of emergency imposed by the Tigray regional state. Among other measures, coffee houses, cafes and juice houses shall be closed. Anyone who travelled out of Tigray in the past 20 days shall be tested. Anyone who enters Tigray after shall be tested and put under supervision. All house rents shall be halved over the period. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } March 26: Tigray region imposes state of emergency Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state on Thursday, March 26, announced a region-wide state of emergency as a means of combating the coronavirus pandemic. The Tigray Mass Media Agency said the decision was reached a day after the regional state council met and agreed on the decision which has implications on movement and on social activities. Under the 15-day emergency rule: all travels within the state is banned. There is also a ban on social activities such as weddings and other festivities which could lead of large gatherings. Markets are also to be closed. More details are expected to be released later. The federal government has closed all land borders as per the decision of an inter-ministerial COVID-19 committee led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. As at March 25, Ethiopia had confirmed 12 cases with all cases in the capital Addis Ababa. The figure is out of about 500 tests overall. It is woefully minimal as compared to South Africa’s over 15,000 tests that have turnd out 704 confirmed cases. March 22: Ethiopia shuts land borders, impose more restrictions Ethiopia will deploy the army to halt the movement of people along all borders, with the exception of incoming essential goods to the country, this is one of eight new measures being implemented by the federal government in the wake of the coronavirus spread. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed on March 23 met with heads of the security sector for deliberations aimed at containment of the pandemic. The group he met today are the security sub-committee of the National Ministerial Committee. Aside shutting land borders, a series of enforcement measures were announced relating to regulations on large gatherings and social distancing. Public transports are to avoid overcrowding whiles businesses will be checked in line with normal pricing of essentials. Government offices have been tasked to employ adequate safety measures for employees whiles seeking home options for other employees. The security forces – army and police – are to undertake internal preparations for enforcement of the relevant rules. March 20: Ethiopian suspends flights to 30 countries State-affiliated FBC reports that Ethiopian airlines (Ethiopian) has suspended flights to 30 countries due to coronavirus (COVID-19), effective from Friday March 20. At the beginning of the outbreak, Ethiopian maintained a decision to stick to its China route at a time most African airlines had suspended operations to and from the country. Ethiopia currently has nine confirmed cases and tests are being run on hundreds of suspected cases. We would like to inform our esteemed customers that we have stopped flight to 30 countries due to COVID19 virus. #EthiopianAirlines pic.twitter.com/0jckrsTzD0— Ethiopian Airlines (@flyethiopian) March 20, 2020 According to journalist Samson Berhane, CEO of the company, Africa’s most profitable and expansive, confirmed that they had made losses of up to $190 million. “We ll probably face the biggest crisis in the history of aviation in Ethiopia,” Tewolde Gebremariam said. The FBC report adds that Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed had announced that all passengers arriving in Ethiopia from COVID -19 affected countries will be quarantined for 14 days, with all cost to be covered by themselves. Uganda has a similar rule in place. Night clubs are to remain closed whiles government is set to release a category of prisonser. Specifically inmates who have children, and whose probationary period is drawing to an end plus those in detention for minor crimes, the PM added. On the subject of religious institutions, Abiy said they had been tasked to take all necessary measures towards the implementation of a robust mechanism to prevent the spread of the virus. All passengers arriving to #Ethiopia will be subjected to a 14 day quarantined period in a designated hotels at their own personal cost. pic.twitter.com/Q4wDwdktNa— Samson Berhane Asmelash (@BerhaneSamson) March 20, 2020 March 19: Ethiopians must join world not stigmatize others – Minister Ethiopia’s Health Minister says the coronavirus pandemic was not related to any country or nationality, she said it as a “test against humanity” which required Ethiopians to join the world to defeat. “#COVID19 is not related to any country or nationality. It is a test against all humanity. We should fight it together and defeat it. I call upon all my fellow Ethiopians to join hands with the world to fight this global challenge,” her post on Twitter read. It is believed to be connected to a United States Embassy statement that alerted to rising anti-foreigner sentiments in parts of the country. The embassy cautioned that foreigners were being targeted with the accusation that they were infected with Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus. In a security alert said as at March 18, the embassy: “continues to receive reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment.” Typical derogatory comments such as “China” and “ferengi” (a reference to foreigners) have been “reportedly coupled with the label ‘corona’, indicating a disparaging view on the link between the outbreak of Covid-19 and foreigners in Ethiopia,” it added. “Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services… being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with Covid-19,” the embassy added. Ethiopia recorded its first case last week of a Japanese national. The cases have risen to six, the sixth being of a British diplomat. Health authorities said they were testing over 900 people for the virus as part of contact tracing efforts connected to confirmed cases. Across Africa, there is a view that most confirmed cases have been imported largely from Europe. Most index cases were of either European nationals or of Africans with recent travel history to Europe. There are sixteen deaths so far, as at March 19. U.S. president Donald Trump has been under fire on Twitter for referring to the coronavirus as “The Chinese Virus.” Most people have called the reference racist especially with the WHO cautioning against tagging a global malady with a certain category of people. March 16: Ethiopia’s COVID-19 rules: Crowd ban, free transport, regulate essentials etc. Ethiopia confirmed the fifth coronavirus case on Monday (March 16), a day after it had recorded an increase of three in addition to the index case that was recorded last week. The office of the Prime Minister issued a statement surrounding key measures taken by government to safeguard public safety and orderliness. The COVID-19 National Ministerial Committee at its second meeting led by PM Abiy agreed on a number of measures aimed at addressing containment and potential spread of the virus. It announced a 10-point measure that was set to last “for the next two weeks, subject to further assessments,” the statement read. the measures included wide-ranging public bans, social interventions and regulating of economic activities propped up by the pandemic. Large gatherings including sporting events had been banned whiles small gatherings required clearance from the Health Ministry. All educational institutions with the exception of higher learning institutions were to be closed. Religious institutions and places of worship are tasked to limit gatherings A national hygiene and preventive measures movement launched from federal level to local levels Government announced allocation of budget for distribution of masks, soap, alcohol solutions and other items in critical locations. Government buses are to be availed free of charge to help control crowding in public transport. Special buses designated to take public servants to work. Private transporters are also asked to follow suit. Trade ministry to monitor and act against businesses engaging in price-gouging Special attention to be paid to the elderly. Volunteers tasked to compliment government education, prevention efforts. “The Prime Minister calls upon all to maintain calm and equip themselves with accurate information from the Ministry of Health. “Citizens are asked to maintain strong hand hygiene and avoid (ing) unnecessary physical contact in line with Ministry of Health guidelines,” the statement concluded. PM Abiy over the weekend disclosed that he had reached a partnership with Chinese e-commerce founder Jack Ma for an Africa wide supply of key coronavirus materials including masks, testing kits and literature. Together with members of my cabinet, I have accepted WHO and DrTedros’s #SafeHands challenge as a means of preventing the spread of #COVID19. I challenge EmmanuelMacron and MohamedBinZayed pic.twitter.com/66DpjmpAA9— Abiy Ahmed Ali ?? (@AbiyAhmedAli) March 16, 2020

Kenya: Authorities Close 2 Neighborhoods Deemed Coronavirus Hot Spots

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[VOA] Kenya has closed two neighborhoods -- one in the capital, Nairobi, and the other in the coastal city of Mombasa -- after a surge in confirmed cases of coronavirus.  Kenyan authorities have confirmed 607 infections and 29 deaths, with dozens of the infections found in Nairobi's Eastleigh area and Mombasa's Old Town.  Many of the neighborhood residents fled as lockdowns were announced.

Nigeria: Nigeria Eases Lockdown Measures Despite Increases in Coronavirus Cases

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[VOA] Computer specialist Michael Kundun left for work early Monday, as Nigeria's coronavirus lockdown eased at 6 a.m.

Returning To Work? Covid-19 Reinfection Fears Addressed With New App

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As the government considers how soon to lift the lockdown, the prospect of more South...

Nigeria: Security Service Prevents Family From Having Seeing Detained Journalist - Lawyer

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[Premium Times] The family of Kufre Carter, a sports reporter detained in the facility of the State Security Service (SSS), Akwa Ibom state, has been prevented from seeing him, his lawyer has said.

Africa: 44 Million Africans at Risk for COVID-19 - WHO

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[VOA] Up to 44 million people in Africa could come down with the coronavirus and 190,000 will die if the virus is not contained, the World Health Organization said.

Lesotho: Prime Minister Agrees to Process for Resignation

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[VOA] The timetable for Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's departure from office is in the hands of the government and his political party, despite his intentions to retire by the end of July.

4 Entrepreneurship Trends Impacting African Business Landscapes In 2020 & The Catalysing Effect Of COVID-19

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Africa’s entrepreneurship rate is the highest in the world. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), 22 % of Africa’s working age population segment are starting their own businesses

Outspoken Libyan princess Alia Al Senussi supports ‘New Saudi’ art scene

Africanews  

As a Libyan princess raised in exile, Alia Al Senussi, has never let her family’s ousting from the throne and their homeland in the 1960s, define her. Her father, Prince Idris al-Senussi was just twelve years old when the monarchy was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi. Born in the United States to an American mother, Princess Alia began returning to Libya in 2011 and was inspired by the people she encountered on the ground. “There was a sense of hope, a sense of positivity,” she says. “Also, those kind of mixed emotions that come with being half-Libyan half-American, and to be welcomed as such. To have a variety of really incredible anecdotes, and interactions with so many young women there, was incredible.” The path to art Al Senussi is an academic high-flyer who gained a doctorate from London’s prestigious School of Oriental Arts & African Studies. With Saudi Arabia as her case study, the young royal explored the concepts of cultural patronage, soft power and nationalism. “I’ve been very passionate about the arts of the Middle East in general, and in particularly, Saudi Arabia,” she told Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham, anchor of Inspire Middle East. “[I] always saw the incredible scene that was there, and this amazing growth and support for artists. And to see that really come to fruition, with the ‘New Saudi Arabia’ as everyone is calling it, has been really heart-warming and really wonderful.” Image: IME S03EP18 MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE Princess Alia Al Senussi speaks to Inspire Middle East Al Senussi is now an advisor to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture which was established in 2018. Whilst the kingdom’s art scene is a work in progress, the princess believes those in charge have a desire to create the infrastructure needed for young artists to flourish. “There’s a variety of government and even public-private partnerships,” she says. “So, there is this growing infrastructure. But really at the heart of it, and as we always say in the art world, the ‘building blocks’ of everything – of the market, of institutions, of the artist – Saudi has that.” Al Senussi believes that other good examples of emerging art hubs in the region include Dubai, Sharjah and the UAE capital, which is home to institutions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Regional art ambassador The art intellectual has become a familiar and outspoken voice on the global contemporary circuit, passionate about arts’ role in advancing and shaping societies. It’s a message she continues to spread through her work as Art Basel’s representative in the UK & the Middle East. IMAGE: IME S03EP18 MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE 2 Princess Alia Al Senussi gives a talk at Art Basel Conversations – COURTESY: Art Basel The royal unstintingly supports emerging and socially disadvantaged artists in the Middle East region. Not only to encourage and preserve their talent, but to help the beautification, and rebuilding of their commonly fractured communities – so often impacted by war, occupation or revolution. The younger generation and Libyan street artists, notes Al Senussi, have been on the creative front line of expression about their domestic situation in recent times. “In Libya, I think that they very much had a huge role to play in the in the revolution, and in the way that people perceived what was happening in ‘the new Libya’,” she says. “Street art played a role in protest, and in the revolution, and also in Tunisia and Egypt, even in Lebanon. So, I think the young people in Libya found a way to express themselves through art and culture.” Creative freedom IMAGE: IME S03EP18 MAIN ARTICLE – SECONDARY IMAGE 3 Princess Alia Al Senussi participates at the Milken Institute summit On the topic of artistic and creative freedom, Al Senussi says that whilst state-censorship does exist in pockets of the region, for the most part it’s not enforced. “For better or worse, I think sometimes maybe governments don’t even know that they should be censoring things,” she says. “And it’s, kind of, a lack of interpretation of that. But I think they also understand that to have such a strict control, and have strict custom censorship, really, kind of, works against oneself.” A common misconception amongst some, says the academic, is that Middle Eastern artists solely create art with a social or political pretext. This isn’t the case, says Al Senussi, who adds that historic events and societal shifts do, inevitably, provide context for many art works. “Many of the Lebanese artists growing up in the civil war, for example – or artists that are growing up in a rapidly changing context, like here in the UAE, in Saudi Arabia etc – they’re going to be talking about those subjects,” says Al Senussi. “It’s been a surprising thing for me, to see the resistance of traditional art history to embrace what’s happening in the Middle East, but I think that’s also changing.” SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: INSPIRING THROUGH ART Noor from Kuwait said she likes to touch people’s heart with her paintings EMBED: https://www.instagram.com/p/BuJMvz9BzAg/ With contributions from Nancy Sarkis, Ana De Oliva and Nicolas Tabbal.

Botswana coronavirus: Relaxed lockdown kicks in, Steve Harvey donates

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May 1: Face masks compulsory in public, shared spaces The Government of Botswana has issued legislation that makes it compulsory to wear masks/face coverings in public places, businesses and common areas of residential buildings from 1 May 2020. Specifications have been issued in an official media release stating that medical and non-medical masks needed to be worn by members of the public. Whiles the medical versions are to be used by persons working in high risk areas, others have to wear the non-medical type. “Cloth face mask or home-made item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place,” the release said of the non-medical masks. The government urged the public to stick to non-medical masks in order to free scarce medical masks for health workers. Vendors are to sell medical masks to only persons in the medical profession, health workers, persons handling clinical waste or involved in COVID-19 related activities. The government cautioned that the use of the masks whiles helping to decrease the probability of contracting the virus also need be observed along with “specified personal hygiene practicing and social distancing.” Botswana case file as of today: 23 confirmed cases, five recoveries and one death. 2. Non-Medical – cloth face mask or home-made item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place.— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) May 1, 2020 April 23: All MPs released from quarantine after tests Botswana’s president and vice president have been released from home quarantine after testing negative for COVID-19. The presidency in a statement today said: “Director of Health Services has released His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic … and …Vice President Slumber Tsogwane from home quarantine today, 23rd April 2020. “This follows the release of their COVID 19 test results which came out negative yesterday,” the statement by presidential spokesperson Batlhalefi Leagajang said. “All members of parliament have tested negative for COVID-19 and they are being released from quarantine,” Kereng Masupu, coordinator of the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force, told a news briefing. On April 9, all members of the legislature were admitted to home quarantine after a nurse on duty at the parliament tested positive for the virus. The president and vice are also MPs and were present at the said date. A day after the order, some unnamed MPs were arrested and put in institutional quarantine for breaching self quarantine rules. They were pictured in shopping malls at a time they were meant to be in quarantine. Botswana, currently under a state of emergency and lockdown has 22 confirmed cases to date (April 23), one death has been recorded with zero recoveries. The overall test tally stands at 5,023 people. Two senior health officials were fired by the president on Wednesday for undisclosed reasons. April 14: Cabinet donates 10% of salaries towards COVID-19 relief fund Cabinet members in Botswana have agreed to donate 10% of their salaries towards the country’s COVID-19 relief fund, government announced on Tuesday. According to Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, members have pledged 10% of their salaries to the relief fund for a period of six months. The deductions will total P167,407.20 every month. The amount comes up to about $14,000 per month and $84,000 over the six-month period. Speaking on state broadcaster, BTV, Tuesday evening VP Tsogwane said, the President , himself as Vice President, Ministers and Assistant Ministers have all written letters and authorized deduction of 10% of their salaries to help the nation in the fight against COVID-19. He also thanked Batswana and the private sector for their continued contribution to the fund and urged others to bring their pledges, monetary or otherwise. The country is under a lockdown occasioned by a state of emergency imposed to curb spread of the virus. PRESIDENTIAL COVID-19 TASK FORCE PUBLIC ADVISORY NO 8 APPLICATIONS FOR ESSENTIAL SERVICES PERMITS pic.twitter.com/8Hf7Z90c4N— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) April 13, 2020 April 10: stubborn MPs moved into govt supervised quarantine Barely 24 hours after government announced that all lawmakers were supposed to observe a period of quarantine for COVID-19, the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, says a number of MPs are to be put under government supervised quarantine. Dr Malaki Tshipayagae said the MPs in question had breached home quarantine after a number of them were seen shopping in supermarkets. He did not specify how many of the 65 members were affected by the new measures. The MPs are said to have been exposed to a health worker who was in attendance during a recent session. A government statement read in part: “It has since come to my attention that some Members of Parliament have breached their quarantine rules by going to supermarkets thus spreading the risk. “This is regrettable and the public is informed that the MPs have been removed from home quarantine and will be quarantined under government supervised quarantine. “His Excellency the President, Members of Parliament, Senior Government Officials and members of the media who attended are urged to follow home quarantine rules and not risk the spread of the disease to members of their families and the public at large.” The country is under lockdown after the President declared a state of emergency to curb spread of the virus. As of April 10, Botswana had recorded 13 cases with one death. Major African stats as of April 10: Confirmed cases = 12,369 Number of deaths = 632 Recoveries = 1,632 Infected countries = 52 Virus-free countries = 2 (Lesotho, Comoros) Figures sourced from John Hopkins University tracking site April 9: Tally rises to 13, all MPs placed under quarantine All sixty-nine lawmakers in Botswana have been placed under compulsory quarantine by the Director of Health Services Dr Malaki Tshipayagae. The parliament referred to as the National Assembly comprises 65 members of Parliament including the president and speaker. The move follows a report given to the Minister of Health on Thursday confirming that seven new cases had been recorded in the southern African country bringing the national tally to thirteen. “Amongst the cases is a healthworker who was on duty at yesterday’s Parliament session. Health professionals are currently advising Parliament on how they are to proceed considering that some of the members interacted with the health worker,” a government statement added. President Masisi was in early April released from self quarantine after he travelled to Namibia for the swearing in of his counterpart Hage Geingob. At the time Namibia had recorded cases and Botswana had yet to record a case. The president’s test result returned negative allowing him to resume duties at his office. The country is currently under a state of emergency with a raft of measures being enforced to curb the spread and increase containment efforts of the virus. Of the now thirteen cases on record, one death has been recorded. President Masisi at an extraordinary meeting of parliament today stressed the importance of the emergency laws in a time as this. He assured MPs that no aspect of the laws would be abused. “I, Mokgweetsi Masisi did not seek the Presidency of this country for reasons of ruling by decree; I did not campaign for election as President of this celebrated democracy for me to erode civil liberties upon coming into office; “It is in this spirit that I pledge, and So Help Me God, that I intend using the declaration of the State of Emergency, solely for the purpose of protecting our people against the decimating potentials of the Novel COVID-19 virus,” he told lawmakers. April 1: Botswana president tests negative Botswana president Eric Masisi has tested negative for COVID-19 and has subsequently been released from home quarantine, “with immediate effect,” to resume duties at his office. “This follows the release of his Covid-19 test results yesterday which came out negative,” a statement from the office of the president said. The April 1 statement was signed by his pres secretary Batlhaleft Leagajang. The president entered self-isolation on March 22 after returning from Namibia where he attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Hage Geingob. At the time Namibia had three confirmed cases whiles Botswana had none. The country has now registered four coronavirus cases, the index cases on March 30 whiles the first death was also recorded a day later. President Masisi in an address imposed 28-day strict lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } TOGETHER WE CAN CONTAIN COVID-19#coronavirusBW #covid19BW #coronavirus #covid19 pic.twitter.com/VThEtWVWfA— Botswana Government (@BWGovernment) April 1, 2020 March 22: President in coronavirus self-isolation after Namibia trip Botswana president Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi is in self-isolation for a fourteen day period, the government through the office of president confirmed late Sunday. The decision to self-isolate comes after he returned home from an official trip to neighbouring Namibia. He attended the swearing in ceremony of President Hage Geingob in Windhoek. “The rationale for the imposition of self-isolation is that while Namibia has registered three (3) imported cases, and is considered low risk for SARS-Cv-2 transmission at the the time of His Excellency the President’s trip to Namibia, the low testing rates in the Region makes that determination difficult and there is a high possibility of undetermined local transmission,” the statement read. The statement added that during the period, the president will be tested for coronavirus, “as such, (the president) will be working from his official residence but quarantined away from his family.” Other members of his entourage have been advised to do same. The statement signed by a permanent secretary on government communications also said Masisi during his time in Namibia held talks with his peers on urgent border issues in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other African leaders who attended the inauguration include Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and Joao Lourenco of Angola. Botswana is one of four countries in the region that has not registered a case of coronavirus as yet. Others include Comoros, Malawi and Lesotho. So far 43 African countries have recorded cases with over 30 deaths and 122 recoveries.

Investment Report Examines Angola Oil And Gas Projects

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Africa Oil & Power launched its Africa Energy Series Special Report: Angola 2020 on Thursday. The available-for-download...

Nigeria coronavirus: 3,526 cases; more repatriation flights expected

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May 4: Relaxation of lockdown starts, Kano deaths explained The easing of a federal lockdown on Lagos, capital Abuja and Ogun states. The government says the reopening of the economy will span over a six-week period. The next two weeks will determine whether or not the process will be continued or reversed in Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest economy. Some key guidelines issued with respect to public places include: Mandatory wearing of face masks, adherence to temperature checks, strict handwashing and use of sanitizers, observance of physical distancing and ban on public gathering. Passenger flights remain prohibited as are interstate travel, governors last month agreed on the latter. Neighbourhood markets are to open thrice a week between 8 am and 3 pm. Banks and financial institutions, category of government offices and corporate sector will also operate between 8 am and 2 pm. Schools, places of worship, clubs, bars and gardens are to remain closed. Meanwhile mysterious deaths in Kano state have been linked to COVID-19 according to the Presidential task Force coordinating the pandemic response. Sani Gwarzo, national coordinator of the task force confirmed the link in an interview with journalists in Kano. “We have five cogent reasons to say that the mass death recorded in Kano is associated with coronavirus.” He listed a number of them as the age of the deceased persons, concentration of the people in one place and “test we have constructed which have element of COVID-19,” Sani Gwarzo, national coordinator of the Task Force told journalists in Kano. He added that the final report would be ready in the next one week or few days, “it is necessary for people of Kano to wake up from their slumber that this is a serious issue. “We need to know what is happening we are successful in identifying what the problems are and secondly we are happy on the level of cooperation the private sector and other stake holders. Many people have come out to support the state we cannot expand our investigation until we are certain,” he stressed. With 170 new cases as of close of day May 3, Nigeria’s tally has reached 2,558 with 400 discharged and 87 deaths. Lagos has 1,107 cases with Kano’s 342 and Abuja’s 278 completing the top three. The closest to 100 mark is Gombe in fourth spot with 96 cases. May 3: Ganduje relaxes Buhari’s lockdown, 2,388 cases so far Kano State governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has announced the relaxing of a federal lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari. As of April 27, when Buhari imposed imposed the total lockdown on the state, the principal reasons were to better understand a spate of “strange deaths” and containment of the rise in COVID-19 cases. But on Saturday, Ganduje announced that there would be free movement in the state between 10am and 4pm on Mondays and Thursdays. He said all the major markets in the state would remain closed, except Ya’nkaba and Ya’nlemo markets where vegetables and fruits are sold. It is not known whether the decision was in consultation with Abuja but the announcement has drawn the ire of social media users who are accusing the governor of being reckless and endangering the lives of people in the state and beyond. Kano recorded one of its lowest figures by close of day May 2 with two cases out of the 220 recorded. The state remains second most impacted with 313 cases behind Lagos’ 10,68 and 266 in FCT. The May 2 tallies stood at 2,388 confirmed cases, 385 discharged and 85 deaths. Kogi State remains the sole uninfected across the federation. Meanwhiles, plans are afoot for a strict implementation of a partial lockdown as announced by Buhari days ago. “I have decided to put in place gradual easing of lockdown measures,” Buhari id in a much-anticipated television address. “We will implement a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” President Buhari said. “Inter-state borders will remain closed except for basic necessities (…). We will impose the wearing of masks in public places, as well as social distancing measures,” he added. These new measures were not to apply to Kano, due to the “mysterious deaths” that are still being autopsied, and rise in cases. Briefs of major daily developments and our COVID-19 blog on Nigeria has more information May 3: Ganduje relaxes Buhari’s lockdown, 2,388 cases so far May 2: Nigeria topples Ghana to become most impacted in West Africa May 1: How Nigeria recorded about 1000 cases in a week May 2: Nigeria tops tallies in West Africa, 5th on continent Nigeria with tally of 2170 is the new leader in West Africa overtaking Ghana whose cases count stands at 2074. Nigeria also the second most impacted in sub-Saharan Africa and fifth overall on the continent. As of close of day May 1, the NCDC reported 238 new cases, one of the highest daily tallies. The bul of the cases coming from Kano State. Kano’s 92 along with Abuja’s 36 and 30 from Lagos completed the top three infected states over a 24-hour period. The number discharged rose by 32 now at 351 with 10 more deaths bringing the tally to 68. Lagos passed the 1000 infection mark whiles Kano’s stood at 311. Abuja, Gombe and Borno completed the top 5 with 214, 92 and 69 cases respectively. Africa’s most impacted nations include: South Africa = 5,951 Egypt = 5,895 Morocco = 4,569 Algeria = 4,154 Nigeria = 2,170 May 1: How Nigeria recorded about 1000 cases in a week Nigeria as of April 23 was nearing the 1,000 confirmed cases point. Africa’s most populous nation’s tally at the time stood at 981. Roll on the next seven days and the country has seen almost a 1,000 new cases. As of April 30, 2020; the NCDC record showed 1,932 cases with 58 deaths and 319 discharged patients. The current tally indicates a 951 increase since April 23. A breakdown of the increases over the period is as follows: April 24 = 1,095 April 25 = 1,182 April 26 = 1,273 April 27 = 1,337 April 28 = 1,532 April 29 = 1,728 April 30 = 1,932 Kogi State being the only unaffected state so far. Kano State has meanwhile risen to second with 219 cases behind Lagos’ 976 cases. Nigeria is currently second most impacted in West Africa only second to Ghana, where over 2,000 cases have been recorded. President Muhammadu Buhari announced Monday evening a gradual easing of confinement measures from 4 May, but will impose a night curfew and the wearing of masks. April 23: Cases near 1,000; Buhari gets ECOWAS task Total confirmed cases inched close to the 1,000 mark with 108 new cases reported by close of day April 23. Total confirmed cases now stand at 981. 78 of the new cases were recorded in Lagos, 14 in FCT, 5 in Ogun, 4 in Gombe, 3 Borno whiles Akwa Ibom, Kwara and Plateau recorded two, one, one respectively. Plateau becomes the latest state to be infected. Discharged tally stands at 197 with deaths at 31. Kano state has had a two day no-case situation after a recent surge took it to number three on the national tally. Head of the presidential Task Force on Thursday disclosed that the NCDC had been instructed to coordinate necessary support for the state. ECOWAS leaders on Thursday held a teleconference to discuss the impact of the virus on the region. Also present in the meeting was the ECOWAS commission chair and United Nations representative for West Africa and the Sahel. April 23: Cases hit 873, governors ban inter-state travel With 91 new cases of COVID-19 as of 11:25 pm 22nd April, Nigeria’s case count hit 873 confirmed cases. A break down of the new cases were as follows: 74 in Lagos, 5 in Katsina, 4 in Ogun. Two each in Delta and Edo states and one each in Kwara, Oyo, FCT and Adamawa. discharged persons were 197 with deaths at 28. Governors have settled on a ban on inter-state movement for a period of two weeks as part of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. They arrived at the decision after a virtual meeting of their umbrella body, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) which held on Wednesday. Ekiti Syaye governor and NGF Chairman, Kayode Fayemi, said the action had been necessitated by the increasing evidence of community transmission of the virus. April 22: El-Rufai tests negative, crisis as Kano testing halted Kaduna State governor Nasir el Rufai was declared free from COVID-19 after two consecutive negative tests. “I am delighted to report today, that after nearly four weeks of observing a strict medical regime, I have now received the all-clear after two consecutive negative test results,” the Kaduna governor Twitter handle disclosed. Affairs of the state government had been in the hands of his deputy over the period he was undergoing treatment. He appeared for a video meeting recently after rumours started spreading that he had been transferred to Lagos due to complications. In neighbouring Kano State which has in five days become the third most impacted state by way of infection, a report that the testing center had been closed due to lack of testing materials raised eyebrows in the country along with a series of mysterious deaths the government is probing. Special coverage of COVID-19 in Nigeria April 22: Cases near 800, Buhari wants prisons decongested 117 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported by close of day April 21 according to NCDC tallies. Of the figure, 59 in Lagos, 29 in FCT and 14 in Kano. 6 in Borno, 4 in Katsina, 3 in Ogun and one each in Rivers and Bauchi States. “As at 11:25 pm 21st April there are 782 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria,” NCDC said in a tweet. Discharged tally stood at 197 with 25 deaths. President Buhari has meanwhile written to the chief justice asking that certain categories of cases be expedited to allow for decongestion of prisons in the light of the danger congestion presents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. April 21: Cases at 665, Kano climbing, Abba Kyari funeral gaffe apology As at 11:10 pm 20th April there are 665 confirmed cases were reported with a total of thirty-eight new cases. The tally of which were as follows: 23 in Kano, 5 in Gombe, 3 in Kaduna, 2 each in Borno and Abia and a case each in FCT, Sokoto and Ekiti. Discharged: 188, Deaths: 22. Kano state thus becomes the new “poster boy” of the virus with a tally that stands at 59 behind FCT’s 89 and Lagos’ 376. The state is currently under lockdown as a measure to curtail spread of the virus, one death has so far been registered. A media aide to the state governor bemoaned on Twitter how a section of the population continued to flout stay at home regulations. His post in Hausa indicated that the violators included the rich and poor alike. April 20: Cases at 627, Borno records case, Adeboye’s prophecy As at 11:50 pm 19th April there are 627 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria, the NCDC reported. The figure included eighty-six new cases from the previous figure of 541. The tally of discharged people stood at 170 with deaths at 21. The new cases included 70 in Lagos, 7 in FCT, 3 in Katsina, 3 in Akwa Ibom, 1 in Jigawa, 1 in Bauchi and 1 in Borno. Jigawa and Borno becoming the latest states to record cases. Meanwhile, a renowned preacher general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, says Nigeria will recover from COVID-19 before the rest of the world. Enoch Adeboye, in a broadcast to church members on Sunday, said Nigeria has begun its journey to normalcy. “I believe that I have good news for us. I believe that the journey to normalcy has started,” Adeboye said. April 18: Abba Kyari succumbs to COVID-19 A top aide to Nigerian president has died from COVID-19, the president’s spokesperson confirmed in the early hours of Saturday. “The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020,” a statement from spokesman Garba Shehu read in part. READ MORE – Abba Kyari succumbs to COVID-19 Follow rolling updates on our live blog

Nigeria: Ondo, Ekiti State Governors Order Arrest of Face Mask, Social Distancing Violators

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[Vanguard] As Police read riot act to violators in Ogun

Africa’s Youth Scholars Harvest Ideas On The Business Of Agriculture

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80 young African scholars are tackling the business of agriculture through the innovativeness and freshness...

Kenya: COVID-19 Pandemic - Governors Want Country to Close Borders

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[Nation] The Council of Governors (CoG) wants the government to come up with a protocol that will see Kenya's borders closed as part of efforts to contain the Covid-19 disease.

Kenya: Bird Defies the Odds to Fly 8,000km to China

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[Nation] At a time hundreds of Kenyans are stuck in foreign countries because of Covid-19, a bird has flown 8,000 kilometres in five days from Kenya to China, the origin of the pandemic.

Nigeria: 10 Staff Members at Lagos State House Test Positive for COVID-19

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[Vanguard] -Sanwo-Olu, wife test negative again

Property Mogul Champions Africa as the Next Bastion of Economic Development

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Self-made Ghanaian entrepreneur Nana Kwame Bediako bought his first car by age 16 and made...

African start-ups funding at risk in 2020 [Morning Call]

Africanews  

The global economy is on the cusp of a recession brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly all sectors or industries are affected badly by the impact of this pandemic and the jobs and livelihoods of millions if not billions of peoples are considered to be at grave risk according to reports from several finance corporations. Over the last five years in Africa, the dominant trend across the continent’s largest tech ecosystems has been a record-breaking investment boom. From payments and e-commerce to health and renewable energy, several fledgling startups convinced backers of their long-term potential for growth. Last year alone, startups on the continent reached new heights, crossing the $2 billion mark according to the state of tech innovation africarena 2020 report. Most forecasts suggested a continued uptick in funding. All of this upward trend, until Covid-19 struck. Startup accelerator AfricArena estimates total funding in African startups this year could drop by as much as $800 million or 40%, with a severe slowdown expected to become more visible in the next two quarters of the year. The report’s worst case scenario also suggests the effects of the economic slowdown could last through 2021 with recovery only expected to come full circle by 2022. To put all of this data simply, people would be affected. Who are they? How exactly might they be impacted and what can be done to mitigate this? @jerrybambi1

Coronavirus in Africa: Over 54,000 cases; 2,073 deaths; 18,412 recoveries

Africanews  

There are now more than over 42,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic. According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when. The whole of Africa has rising cases with Lesotho the country holding out as of May 1. We shall keep updating this list largely sourced from the John Hopkins University tallies, Africa CDC and from official government data. The classifications are based on where the countries are located especially in the case of countries that belong to two different blocs, like Tanzania in East Africa, despite belonging to EAC and SADC. SUGGESTED READING: Africa’s COVID-19 deaths pass 1,000 mark Major African stats: May 3 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 42,769 Number of deaths = 1,759 Recoveries = 14,129 Infected countries = 53 Virus-free countries = 1 (Lesotho) Countries in alphabetical order Algeria – 4,295 Angola – 35 Benin – 90 Botswana – 23 Burkina Faso – 652 Burundi – 15 Cameroon – 2,077 Cape Verde – 152 Central African Republic – 72 Chad – 117 Comoros – 1 Congo-Brazzaville – 229 DR Congo – 674 Djibouti – 1,112 Egypt – 6,193 Equatorial Guinea – 315 Eritrea – 39 Eswatini – 108 Ethiopia – 133 Gabon – 335 (The) Gambia – 17 Ghana – 2,169 Guinea – 1,586 Guinea-Bissau – 257 Ivory Coast – 1,362 Kenya – 435 Lesotho – 0 Liberia – 154 Libya – 63 Madagascar – 135 Malawi – 38 Mali – 544 Mauritania – 8 Mauritius – 332 Morocco – 4,729 Mozambique – 79 Namibia – 16 Niger – 736 Nigeria- 2,388 Rwanda – 255 Sao Tome and Principe – 16 Senegal – 1,115 Seychelles – 11 Sierra Leone – 155 Somalia – 671 South Africa – 6,336 South Sudan – 45 Sudan – 592 Tanzania – 480 Togo – 123 Tunisia – 1,009 Uganda – 88 Zambia – 119 Zimbabwe – 34 SUGGESTED READING: rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Africa II

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