Coronavirus global updates: summary of Covid-19 news, 6 May

Coronavirus live Africa: latest Covid-19 news - 7 May

Africa

Africa Covid-19 update: 02:45 WAT on Thursday 7 May (03:45 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 3,751,782 cases have been detected worldwide, with 263,785 deaths and 1,242,029 people now recovered.

Nigeria: 3,145 cases / 103 deaths
South Africa: 7,808 cases / 153 deaths
Ghana: 2,719 cases / 18 deaths
Kenya: 582 cases / 26 deaths

A pause...

We're going to take a break from our live coronavirus coverage for a few hours, but we'll be back before you know it to bring you the latest developments and figures in the Covid-19 crisis throughout Thursday. Many thanks for reading.

New, dominant coronavirus strain could beat vaccines

According to a study carried out at a lab in the US, the mutation that has occurred in what has become the dominant strain of the virus makes it particularly dangerous.

Full story:

Pineapples the toast of SA

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a ten-fold increase in pineapple sales in South Africa - from 10,000 to 100,000 a day - as people use the fruit to brew their own beer while under lockdown.

Making testing quicker in Ghana

The BBC programme Africa Today has taken a look at a lab in Ghana that is experimenting with an innovative method of testing for the coronavirus:

Gov. Bala Mohammed prayed to God

"I recommended that should be done to other patients too; I have no apology for saying that I used chloroquine, Zithromax, zinc, iron and vitamin C to get cured."

Worse before it gets better

'The reasons are numerous and the logic is obvious, as dictated by common sense, science of what is known about the pandemic, and the context of the country.'

Ghana's meme message

One of the most famous memes of 2020 has seen the funeral men pass on this video amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Young girls tests positive

“The girl’s father is the index case in Kazaure and was confirmed to be Coronavirus positive upon his arrival to Kazaure from Enugu State.”

Hands bank

Quick wash

A woman wears a protective face mask as she washes her hands at a bank, as part of the protocol in place after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Abuja, Nigeria May 6, 2020 (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

Border arrests en route to Cameroon

Twelve people have been arrested by a combined team of the Nigeria Immigration and Navy operatives as they attempted to cross over to Cameroon from Nigeria by sea in a boat through Ibaka in Akwa Ibom state.

Read the full story here.

Kenya targeted

The World Health Organization supports the government in dissemination of timely information to communities in major outbreak hotspots in Nairobi.

Guitar

Jo'burg lines

A man holds his electric guitar as he lines up at a food distribution in the Kwa Mai Mai area of the Johannesburg CBD, in Johannesburg, on May 6, 2020. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP)

Economic insight

The coronavirus outbreak has set off the first recession in the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 25 years, with growth forecast at-5.1% in 2020 from a modest 2.4% in 2019, according to the latest Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s bi-annual analysis of the state of the region’s economies.

Check out their analysis.

Save Our Airline 

South Africa does not want a fire sale of the assets of troubled national airline SAA nor for the carrier to be liquidated, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

Gordhan told a parliamentary committee that the government was in talks with rescue specialists in charge of state-owned South African Airways (SAA) on how best to save the airline, which entered a form of bankruptcy protection in December.

'In our view, if this wind-down process the business practitioner team seem to be on at the moment continues as they proposed, it will not serve the original objective that we set for the business rescue process,' Gordhan said. 'That is also a matter of contention between the shareholder and the business rescue practitioners.'

Data mix-up behind contradiction

“Those reports were not wrong. There was some mix-up due to a data entry error. I have asked the medical college to ensure that such incidents don’t happen in the future,”

Boy Africa

Kenyan rainfalls

A 12-year-old boy walks through the mud after River Muruny burst its bank following heavy rains in Parua village, about 85 km northeast of Kitale, in West Pokot county, western Kenya.

Heavy rains in Kenya have caused floods and landslides that have left 194 dead and destroyed crops since the deluge began last month, complicating the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus, the government said on May 6, 2020. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

Car troubles in SA

“Those plans will be impacted massively,” said Mike Mabasa, chief executive of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa.

“Particularly for the short to medium term, that plan is completely out of the window.”

Customers sit on chairs outside a cake store as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Johannesburg, South Africa

Customers sit on chairs outside a cake store as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Johannesburg, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Study suggests coronavirus spread swiftly around world in late 2019

A genetic analysis of samples from more than 7,500 people infected with COVID-19 suggests the new coronavirus spread quickly around the world late last year and is adapting to its human hosts, scientists said on Wednesday.

A study by scientists at University College London's (UCL) Genetics Institute found almost 200 recurrent genetic mutations of the new coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2 - which the researchers said showed how it may be evolving as it spreads in people.

Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who co-led the research, said results showed that a large proportion of the global genetic diversity of the virus causing COVID-19 was found in all of the hardest-hit countries.

That suggests that the virus was already being transmitted extensively around the globe from early on in the epidemic.

"All viruses naturally mutate. Mutations in themselves are not a bad thing and there is nothing to suggest SARS-CoV-2 is mutating faster or slower than expected," said Balloux. "So far, we cannot say whether SARS-CoV-2 is becoming more or less lethal and contagious."

Zimbabwe financial aid

The World Bank will grant $7 million to Zimbabwe as it struggles with a poor economy amid the ongoing pandemic.

Assore chrome mine in S.Africa shuts after worker diagnosed with Covid-19

South Africa's Assore suspended production at a chrome mine this week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, the company said on Wednesday, highlighting the challenge mining firms face as they start operations again as a lockdown eases.

The worker was screened last week as part of Dwarsrivier Chrome Mine's return to work protocols and was tested after showing COVID-19 symptoms, an Assore spokesman said.

Work at the mine, which produced 1.55 million tonnes of chrome ore in the last financial year, was suspended on Monday after the worker's test proved positive a day earlier.

Kenya

Forced evictions leave 5,000 Kenyan slum dwellers at risk of coronavirus

Thousands of Kenyans in Nairobi are at risk of contracting coronavirus after authorities demolished their houses in the midst of the pandemic, human rights activists said on Wednesday.

Authorities ordered bulldozers into the Kariobangi informal settlement in northeast Nairobi on Monday, demolishing some 600 homes and forcefully evicting at least 5,000 people - including many single mothers and children, said campaigners.

The state-run Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NSWSC) claims ownership of the land which it says has  been illegally occupied since 2008. Evicted residents say they bought the land from the city council and have documents to prove it.

"We are in a serious crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic so evicting people from their homes and their only place of safety at this moment is wrong," said Ruth Mumbi, coordinator of the Grassroots Women Initiative Network (GRAWINET).

Africa Covid-19 latest statistics

World Health Organisation in Kano (Nigeria)

WHO delegates offered a series of talks offering prevention guidelines to help reduce transmission of the virus in Kano State in North West, Nigeria.

South Africa 'not out of the woods yet'

President Cyril Ramaphosa moved rapidly and decisively to impose one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in late March as authorities rolled out a very proactive screening and testing programme which has meant the country of 56 million has suffered just 148 deaths and has just over 7,000 confirmed cases.

Sani Abacha

Nigeria to use $311 mln of Abacha assets to fund infrastructure

Nigeria will spend $311 million returned after being stolen by former military ruler General Sani Abacha on infrastructure development, a presidency spokesman said on Tuesday.

The United States and the British dependency of Jersey agreed with the Nigerian government in February to repatriate money that Abacha, who died in 1998, had stashed in their banks.

Nigeria's attorney general said on Monday the funds had been received following an agreement requiring the money go towards infrastructure projects, and if any cash was diverted Nigeria could be required to replace it.

Poor infrastructure has long held back development in Africa's biggest economy, where the statistics office estimates 40% of the country's 200 million people live in poverty.

Coronavirus and sport: the impact of Covid-19 on sporting events around the world

The situation in sport around the world: Football, cricket, rugby, surfing, Olympics, golf, tennis, cycling, athletics, motor sports, swimming, baseball, NFL, NHL, baseball, basketball...

Nigeria: 34 medics test positive

Today's The Nation newspaper leads with the story of more doctors in the country becoming infected with the Covid-19 virus.

Gon Coulibaly

Ivory Coast PM to spend weeks in France on medical rest after heart exam

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the ruling party's candidate in this year's presidential race, will stay in France for a few weeks of medical rest after undergoing a heart exam, the presidency said on Tuesday.

The 61-year-old Gon Coulibaly, who had heart surgery in 2012, flew to France over the weekend for medical checks. A coronary angiogram was carried out on Monday and his doctor recommended he be monitored, the presidency said in a statement.

"The prime minister will therefore continue his stay in France for a few weeks, before returning to Ivory Coast," it said, without giving further details.

South Africa

South Africa's car industry ambitions threatened by coronavirus

The expansion of South Africa's auto industry is central to the government's economic development strategy but the coronavirus crisis has forced carmakers into survival mode and could push ambitious growth plans out of reach.

Industry officials say the government needs to defer some tax payments for the auto industry and relax the criteria for investment incentives and allowances, or the pandemic could deal the sector a permanent blow.

Before the crisis, the government had crafted a plan to supercharge the sector to help revive the country's struggling economy and form a beachhead for expansion within Africa, the world's last major untapped market for new cars.

But a five-week lockdown has brought a manufacturing and retail industry that accounts for almost 7% of South Africa's gross domestic product and 30% of its manufacturing output to a virtual standstill.

The Star

Front cover: South Africa's The Star

Two people arrested in surfing protest is the headline story in the Johannesburg daily for Wednesday.

Coronavirus Africa live: welcome

Hello and welcome our Africa-focused live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now registered over 3.6 million cases worldwide. We'll bring you the latest developments and statistics as they emerge throughout the course of today.

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