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COVID-19: Cameroon Records 203 new cases as Total Confirmed Cases Reaches 509
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

203 new cases have been confirmed in Cameroon, as the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus reaches 509. This information was released by Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health in his daily briefing as the figure for April 3, breaking April 4.

This is the highest number of cases the country has had since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus was detected in the country. Eight people have died from the virus in Cameroon while 17 have recovered.

It is reported that the number of cases will sour if the social distancing measures, basic hygiene and other measures are not scrupulously respected by the population.

Minister Manaouda Malachie said: “The new confirmed cases were part of a large-scale sampling and testing that involved some 800 people who were suspected and their samples taken during the week,” while adding that the new cases “although asymptomatic have a high potential for contamination.”

The hot bed for the coronavirus remains Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde with over 240 cases recorded. Douala follows suit with some 51 cases while the South West Region has recorded two cases this far, one in Buea who died and the other in Limbe.

As part of containment efforts, Minister Manaouda Malachie has said that “Similarly, there is a large order for respiratory assistance equipment through the central procurement office of the United Nations Development Programme.”

The government is equally reorienting its strategy is it struggles to bring to an end the coronavirus in the country. The strategy involves massive and generalized testing, placement in immediate treatment of cases, active surveillance of suspected cases, awareness of the population (hygiene, distance), border control, and development of reliable local expertise for the response.

“My dear brothers and sisters, the coronavirus is a reality that should not be ignored. Let us protect our loved ones, protect ourselves. We should respect basic hygiene rules, and stay at home as much as possible,” the Minister of Public Health stressed.

The government has extended by 15 days some restrictive measures put in place to reduce the spread of the virus. The measures put in place include the shutting down of schools, borders, banning of gathering of more than fifty people, and encouraging people to follow hygiene rules.

Some of these rules have however not been fully respected across the national territory prompting Governors and Divisional Officers in some locality to close down the businesses for violating the laid rules. Security personnel have also been dispatched to the field to enforce the measures.

In the late hours of April 3, security officers were seen at Bonduma, a neighbourhood in Buea, South West Region checking and making sure that taxi drivers do not overload. The taxi drivers have been told to carry not more than three persons, two behind and one in front including the driver.

The Governor of the South West region Bernard Okalia Bilai has in a latest communiqué banned drinking spots in the Region, while eateries have also been told to close. Bars, night clubs are also not left out.

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Coronavirus – Madagascar: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board approves a US$ 165.99 Million Disbursement to the Republic of Madagascar to address the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Coronavirus – Somalia: Critical juncture to curb spread of COVID-19 and save lives
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

Download logoSomalia is at a critical juncture where immediate action can still curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned about the impact that the virus could have on communities weakened by violence and conflict, where displacement, malnutrition, and outbreaks of disease are already widespread.

“Somalia is at a crossroads, where we can rapidly scale up to get information and resources out to communities and heal

The post Coronavirus – Somalia: Critical juncture to curb spread of COVID-19 and save lives appeared first on CNBC Africa.

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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Coronavirus – Africa: In the face of Coronavirus, African Countries apply lessons from Ebola Response
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Coronavirus – Somalia: Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

Download logoCovid-19 preparedness and response scaled up; Government has announced various COVID-19 control measures; Gu rains have started with moderate to heavy showers; thousands of people displaced in Lower Shabelle region; SHF to allocate US$22 million but more resources needed.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness and response scaled up across Somalia

In conjunction with Somali authorities, UN agencies and partners in Somalia have consolidated the humanitarian components of the integra

The post Coronavirus – Somalia: Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin appeared first on CNBC Africa.

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Coronavirus – Africa: African Union Member States (50) reporting COVID-19 cases
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

African Union Member States (50) reporting COVID-19 cases (7,741), deaths (313), and recoveries (640) by region:

Central (753 cases, 28 deaths, 27 recoveries):  Burundi (3, 0, 0), Cameroon (509, 8, 17), Central African Republic (8, 0, 3), Chad (7, 0, 0), Congo (41, 3, 2), DRC (148, 16, 3), Equatorial Guinea (16, 0, 1), Gabon (21, 1, 1)

Eastern (668, 14, 23): Djibouti (49, 0, 9), Eritrea (22, 0, 0), Ethiopia (35, 0, 4), Kenya (122, 4, 4), Madagascar (70, 0, 0), Mauritius (186, 7, 0), Rwand

The post Coronavirus – Africa: African Union Member States (50) reporting COVID-19 cases appeared first on CNBC Africa.

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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Coronavirus – Libya: First death of COVID-19 was recorded in Libya
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Coronavirus – Nigeria: A total of 190 confirmed cases and 2 deaths of COVID-19 have been recorded in Nigeria
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Malawi records three positive Covid-19 cases
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

People wash their hands as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus on the last day that church gatherings were allowed, at a parish in Lilongwe on 22 March. Photograph: Amos Gumulira/AFP via Getty Images

Three people have tested positive for Covid-19, President Peter Mutharika has announced.

Mutharika made the announced in a televised statement on Thursday, marking the Southern African nation among those with cases.

Until the last 24 hours, Malawi was among five other African nations without any positive case.

In his statement, Mutharika indicated that the cases have been recorded in capital city Lilongwe.

‘’ I would like to inform the nation that for first time, we now have confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease in the country. There are three cases. The first affected person is a 61-year-old female from Lilongwe. The affected woman had recently returned from India where she was in contact with a relative who was later confirmed as Coronavirus positive. She was in self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Malawi, but later became symptomatic within the 14 days’ quarantine period,’’ he said.

The president also said that the second case is a relative to the index patient, while the third case is a domestic worker for the index in their household.

Meanwhile, Mutharika has said government is providing initial care and medical management for all three cases and tracing all close contacts and requiring them to go into quarantine for 14 days where they can be observed.

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World Bank Approves $10 Million Grant to Gambia to Fight COVID-19
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The World Bank has announced Tuesday its approval of $10 million to support The Gambia’s COVID-19 response.

The grant is approved from the International Development Association (IDA) for the country to provide emergency assistance in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Project will enhance case detection, tracing, and reporting, as well as provide equipment to isolation and treatment centers, and improve disease surveillance and diagnostic capacity,” the statement from Washington stated.

It will also focus on risk communications and community engagement for increased awareness and compliance with prevention and social distancing measures.

“This rapid response operation draws from the World Bank Group’s $14 billion package of fast-track financing to help countries in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the spread of COVID-19,” said Ms. Elene Imnadze, Resident Representative for The Gambia.

“It provides the financing needed to strengthen coordination with partners and implement the Government’s National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.”

The World Bank Group is rolling out a $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery.

The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

The statement indicated that the IFC is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. IBRD and IDA are making an initial $6 billion available for the health-response.

“As countries need broader support, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.”

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Burkina Faso crisis and COVID-19 concerns highlight pressure on Sahel food security
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

Food insecurity levels in the Sahel region are “spiralling out of control”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday, as it expressed concerns about the potential impact on humanitarian supply chains because of restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK, USA, April 3, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Across the Central Sahel in Africa – encompassing Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – more than five million people face severe food insecurity ahead of the coming lean season, according to data released by WFP and other humanitarian partners.

Drought and violent extremists

Humanitarians have repeatedly warned that chronic insecurity linked to successive drought and violent extremists who exploit the lack of a strong State presence have created an avoidable crisis, which WFP said has now extended to the coastal countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Forecasts indicate that Burkina Faso will see food insecurity more than triple, to more than 2.1 million people in June, up from at least 680,000 at the same time last year.

The number of people going hungry is also expected to rise in Mali, with 1.3 million people vulnerable, along with two million people in Niger.

‘Unprecedented’ vulnerability during lean season

“For the lean season, in the upcoming months June to September, the analysis concluded that we are going from 10.8 million people declared food insecure last year, to 19.1 million people in 2020,” said Eric Branckaert, WFP Senior Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Adviser, speaking to journalists via videoconference.

“This is an increase of 77 per cent since last year and it is unprecedented.”

Citing Burkina Faso’s experience as illustrative of the plight facing its Sahel neighbours, Alexandre Lecuziat, WFP Senior Regional Emergency Preparedness and Response Adviser, said in English and French that it was “one of the most or the fastest growing displaced population crisis in the world. It’s a country that virtually had no IDPs, internally displaced populations, 18 months ago and now the latest official figures are in excess of 800,000 people displaced.”

Speaking via videoconference, Mr Lecuziat said that although WFP has access across the Sahel to populations in need, the agency is extremely concerned about the impact of the new coronavirus on a region with one of the weakest healthcare systems in the world.

If it emerges in a similar way to much of the rest of the world, it will lead to “a serious deterioration” in people’s resilience, as markets and borders close, preventing herders from moving their animals to fresh pasture, he explained.

Aid delivery changes to keep everyone safe

Social distancing measures have already been implemented by WFP and its partners during aid deliveries, in a bid to keep staff and communities safe.

“We need to limit the number of people that gather so we need to fragment the number of sites of distribution,” Mr Lecuziat said. “The maximum numbers vary from one country to the other, but in general not more than 50 people can be gathered; and even when those people can be gathered, we are implementing standard operating procedures to minimize the transmission of the disease. So there is a temperature check for all people coming into the distribution sites and we have to respect one metre between every individual coming in to get the food assistance.”

At a wider logistical level the UN agency is also exploring all options to ensure that vital aid supply lines can withstand the expected disruption of COVID-19.

Global aid suppliers hit by COVID-19

“Some of the bigger companies, and indeed the main suppliers globally, are in countries that are currently under strict confinement and a very reduced level of production,” Mr Lecuziat explained. “A lot of the nutritious products are produced in India or France, for example, where factories have had to reduce or close, or reduce significantly their production. We have big concerns on this, and our supply chain colleagues together with UNICEF, are looking at locally available enriched foods to complement this.”

In a statement, WFP said that it had assisted 1.5 million people in Burkina Faso and Mali in February.

It has appealed for more support to tackle the crisis and urgently requires $208 million for the next five months to carry out its lifesaving operations.

“This is a crisis layered on top of a crisis, and the situation risks getting out of hand,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa. “People are on the brink – we must step up now to save lives – we are the only hope for millions.”

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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COVID-19 should not herald rollback in rights for people with autism: UN chief
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The rights of persons with autism must be taken into account in efforts to address the COVID-19 coronavirus: “a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes”, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

NEW YORK, USA, April 3, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- António Guterres’s appeal came in his message for World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April.

This year’s commemoration is being held as countries grapple with the pandemic, which is placing persons with autism at disproportionate risk of the new coronavirus and its impacts.

“Persons with autism have the right to self-determination, independence and autonomy, as well as the right to education and employment on an equal basis with others. But the breakdown of vital support systems and networks as a result of COVID-19 exacerbates the obstacles that persons with autism face in exercising these rights”, the UN chief said.

“We must ensure that a prolonged disruption caused by the emergency does not result in rollbacks of the rights that persons with autism and their representative organizations have worked so hard to advance”.

UN champions diversity

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behaviour, communication and language, which begin in childhood, usually during the first five years of life, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

While some people with autism can live independently, others have severe disabilities and require life-long care and support. They are often subject to social stigma and discrimination, including being deprived of full health care and education rights.

The UN has long celebrated diversity and advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities.

The Secretary-General stressed that the rights of persons with disabilities must not be infringed upon during times like the current pandemic.

“Governments have a responsibility to ensure that their response includes persons with autism”, he advised. “Persons with autism should never face discrimination when

seeking medical care. They must continue to have access to the support systems required to remain in their homes and communities through times of crisis, instead of facing the prospect of forced institutionalization”, he said.

Consult persons with disabilities

However, the Secretary-General underlined that everyone has a role in ensuring these needs are met during the pandemic, including by providing critical information in accessible formats.

“We must also recognize that when schools employ online teaching, students with non-standard ways of learning may be at a disadvantage. The same applies to the workplace and working remotely”, he said.

“Even in these unpredictable times, we must commit to consulting persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, and ensuring that our non-traditional ways of working, learning, and engaging with each other, as well as our global response to the coronavirus, are inclusive of and accessible to all people, including persons with autism”.

Rights experts weigh in

The Secretary-General’s stance on the rights of persons with disabilities during the pandemic has been echoed by two UN representatives who also call for this community to be consulted on response.

Danlami Basharu, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the UN chief’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, have issued a joint statement reminding countries of their obligations under international law.

They called for accelerated measures to discharge persons with disabilities from institutions, such as nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals, due to the increased risk of COVID-19 spread in these locations.

Additionally, countries should ensure they have equal access to health services, including mental health services, during this period.

“States should also continue providing to persons with disabilities the health services required by persons with disabilities specifically because of their disabilities”, they added.

“During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, States should prevent discriminatory denial of health care or life-saving services, food or fluids on the basis of disability”.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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