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Nigeria’s governors seek to make face masks compulsory in public
26 April 2020, 5:30 AM

Nigerian state governors have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the compulsory use of face masks in public as confirmed coronavirus cases rise, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Saturday.

The 36 governors believe Buhari’s approval is needed to ensure a uniform and coordinated policy at federal and state levels to tackle the virus, the letter from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said.

The presidency declined to comment on whether Buhari had received the letter or would act on the advice.

Two presidency sources said the request had taken the form of a suggestion to the president’s task force on COVID-19. They said the task force would brief him on the suggestion on Sunday.

Nigeria reported 114 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing its total to 1,095, with 32 deaths. A total of 28 states have so far reported cases, and more than half are in the commercial hub, Lagos.

With 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Some 20 million

The governors want Buhari’s next set of coronavirus measures to incorporate a lockdown on flights and on interstate movement, restrictions on large gatherings and overnight curfews, as well as making the use of face masks in public compulsory.

The movement of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceuticals, petroleum supplies and agricultural products should be exempt, said the governors, who on Thursday agreed to ban interstate movement for two weeks.

Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the capital Abuja, are already under federally imposed lockdowns, while various states have instigated their own containment measures.

Global coronavirus death toll hits 200 000
26 April 2020, 4:30 AM

Global deaths linked to the coronavirus passed 200 000 on Saturday, while confirmed cases of the virus are expected to hit three million in coming days, according to a Reuters tally.

More than half of the fatalities have been reported by the United States, Spain and Italy.

The first death linked to the disease was reported on January 10 in Wuhan, China. It took 91 days for the death toll to pass 100 000 and a further 16 days to reach 200 000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments.

By comparison, there are an estimated 400 000 deaths annually from malaria, one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.

The global death toll has continued to grow at a rate of 3-4% per day over the past 10 days, though that rate has slowed since the beginning of the month.

The true number of fatalities is expected to be higher as many countries have not included deaths recorded in nursing homes and other locations outside hospitals.

The United States had reported more than 52,400 deaths as of Saturday morning, while Italy, Spain and France have reported between 22,000-26,000 fatalities each.

Of the top 20 most severely affected countries, Belgium has reported the highest number of fatalities per capita, with six deaths per 10,000 people, compared to 4.9 in Spain and 1.6 in the United States.

Around 8% of all cases reported in the United States have been fatal, while more than 10% of cases reported in Spain and Italy have resulted in deaths.

However those rates would be considerably lower if the infection totals included the many cases of the illness that go unreported – since not everyone with symptoms is tested.

Asia and Latin America have each reported more than 7000 deaths, while the Middle East has reported upwards of 8 800. The current toll in Africa is around 1 350.

Experts say infections numbers do not show real spread of COVID-19
26 April 2020, 3:15 AM

Health experts warn that society is still far from understanding the true extent of COVID-19 infections in South Africa.

They say the number of new infections, released daily, does not show the extent of the spread of the virus in communities.

South Africa is seeing an increase in the number of new infections.

The total of infections now stands at 4 361 with 86 deaths.

In the video below, COVID-19 cases in South Africa rise to 4 361:

Experts say this is a result of aggressive screening and testing in communities.

Professor Bulie Magula, the Head of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, says one infected person infects up to three people, who in turn infect others. Magula says it takes a few days for symptoms to show.

Immunization is a shared responsibility.

If only some people are vaccinated, diseases can still spread, especially to those at highest risk:
✅Infants who are too young to receive vaccines
✅Older adults at risk of serious diseases
✅People with low immunity#VaccinesWork pic.twitter.com/6AbnxvJ9I5

— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 24, 2020

“People need to step forward to get tested because the numbers that we are now worried about that they are going up , if people are not stepping forward we will find ourselves in a situation where transmission has gone unchecked.

“And we are only seeing ourselves where people are coming into hospitals sick and dying when we could actually could have stepped in early.”

Meanwhile Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo, said last Saturday that the province has not ruled out the possibility of cremating people who have died due to COVID-19, should the need arise.

Mbombo said that this is due to the unique nature of the virus.

She said the contagious nature of COVID-19 could see to the change of funeral traditions.

“Of course although in South Africa we don’t have as much compared at this stage to international where people are dying in numbers like in the US, but there might be a time, as I said we don’t know how the disease will evolve.

“There might be a time where either cremation or mass burial which we have seen in New York City, but we are not there at that level yet.”

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Cuban doctors to arrive in South Africa on Sunday
26 April 2020, 2:20 AM

A team of 200 doctors from Cuba will arrive in South Africa on Sunday to assist officials in stemming the spread of the coronavirus.

The island nation boasts a strong health care system and many students from Africa study medicine Cuba.

In previous cases of crisis, Cuban doctors were the first to arrive in Africa to help fight Ebola.

SABC News Foreign Editor Sophie Mokoena says the group consists of highly skilled medical doctors.

“One thing many people always talk about is the level of medical training in Cuba particularly their primary health care. They have a huge talent but also experience and expertise, they will be able to share their experiences and they’ll be able to assist.”

“It will be a good thing for them to share information of their experience with our own medical teams here in South Africa in different parts, particularly in provinces where you have high numbers.”

In this video below, Cuba agree to help South Africa fights the spread of the coronavirus:

In March Communist-run Cuba said it dispatched a brigade of doctors and nurses to Italy to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy.

The Caribbean island sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution.

Yet with the 52-strong brigade, it is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of its medical diplomacy.

This is the sixth medical brigade Cuba sent in March to combat the spread of the new disease abroad.

It sent contingents to socialist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua as well as Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada.

“We are all afraid but we have a revolutionary duty to fulfil, so we take out fear and put it to one side,” Leonardo Fernandez, 68, an intensive care specialist, told Reuters late on Saturday shortly before his brigade’s departure. He who says he is not afraid is a superhero, but we are not superheroes, we are revolutionary doctors.”

In the video below, Italy Health Minister says the country is facing the most difficult moment in history:

There is currently a lack of health, social services for homeless: SAHRC
26 April 2020, 1:30 AM

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says there is currently a lack of health and social services for homeless people who have been moved to the City of Cape Town’s shelter for the homeless in Strandfontein.

SAHRC says currently, there is a lack of health and social services for homeless people who have been moved to the City of Cape Town’s shelter for the homeless in Strandfontein near Mitchell’s Plain.

The SAHRC’s statement comes after it received an independent assessment which international Non-Governmental Organisation, Doctors Without Borders, conducted to determine if the shelter was complying with basic of human rights.

Western Cape Human Rights’ Commissioner, Chris Nissen, says the assessment found that the homeless people living at the shelter had inadequate health and social services.

The shelter was established as part of the City’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In this video below,Focuses on the light of the homeless people:

Nissen says they will scrutinise the report, before deciding the way forward.

Earlier in April political analyst Tinyiko Maluleke said it’s shameful that it took the coronavirus for government to remember that there are homeless people, as well as those without water.

As part of the lockdown measures, government placed all homeless people in temporary shelters across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.

We are unveiling the new home for the homeless. We have now accommodated the last group of the homeless that needed shell. Thanks to all our social partners ⁦@gpgSocDev#GrowingGautengTogether pic.twitter.com/d1cUtzAq2D

— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) April 6, 2020

The government has also been providing tanks for people without water, especially in rural areas and informal settlements.

Maluleke said it’s worrying that government has been reactive in providing the basic services it should have been providing on a regular basis.

“I suppose if we stretch our minds, we could see these government interventions for the homeless, the rural and the poor as positive. But, it’s a shame. It’s a shame that we had to wait for coronavirus before our government could think of buying Jojo tanks for poor people without water in rural areas. It’s a shame that we had to wait for coronavirus for government to begin to think about the homeless people in our cities and try to do something about their situation. I think it’s a crying shame.”

 

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