Corona Watch

13 May 2020 | Ekonomie
Uganda

Uganda's long-serving president Yoweri Museveni has said it would be wrong to hold a presidential election expected for early next year if the coronavirus persists, signalling for the first time a possible delay.

"To have elections when the virus is still there ... It will be madness," the 75-year-old Museveni, whom opponents cast as an authoritarian clinging to power, said in an interview with the local NBS Television aired late on Monday.

Though no date had been fixed for the 2021 election, it is typically held in February. – Nampa/Reuters

Morocco

Morocco has cleared disposable face masks for export after reaching a daily production capacity of 10 million daily by 24 factories during the new coronavirus outbreak, industry minister Hafid Elalamy said on Monday.

An average of 2 million masks are sold daily in Morocco and the surplus will be exported after having secured a strategic stockpile of 50 million masks, Elalamy told members of parliament.

He added that Morocco has secured self-sufficiency in ethanol, key to making sanitisers, with a daily production capacity of 24 000 litres.

An advanced version of a Moroccan-made ventilator that requires intubation is undergoing trials, Elalamy said. – Nampa/Reuters

Algeria

Algeria has started producing rapid test kits for the novel coronavirus, with a detection time of 15 minutes and a production capacity of 200 000 units per week, the government said on Monday.

The laboratory in the capital Algiers develops the test kits in partnership with Canadian and Jordanian firms.

The North African country has allocated US$100 million to import medical equipment and pharmaceutical products to counter the virus. – Nampa/Reuters

Ghana

A worker at a fish-processing factory in Ghana's Atlantic seafront city of Tema infected 533 other workers at the facility with the coronavirus, Ghana's president Nana Akufo-Addo said in a broadcast late on Sunday.

Abraham Koomson, the head of the Ghana Federation of Labour, said the 533 cases were at Thai Union's Pioneer Food Cannery Limited plant and that the facility had closed down.

The president announced an extension of a ban on public gatherings until the end of May, and schools and universities will remain closed. – Nampa/Reuters

Kenya

The International Monetary Fund has raised Kenya's risk of debt distress to high from moderate due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, it said in an assessment published yesterday.

The East African nation's debt stood at 61.7% of GDP at the end of last year, up from 50.2% at the end of 2015, the IMF said, driven up by gaping budget deficits that were caused by large infrastructure projects such as a new railway line.

Last week, the IMF approved US$739 million in emergency funding for Kenya to help it tackle the Covid-19 crisis. – Nampa/Reuters

Egypt

The International Monetary Fund on Monday said its executive board approved US$2.77 billion in emergency financing to help Egypt grapple with the new coronavirus pandemic that has brought tourism to a standstill and triggered major capital flight.

The IMF said it remained closely engaged with the Egyptian government and the Central Bank of Egypt, and stood ready to provide further support as needed.

The new funds would help Egyptian authorities continue spending on health, social protection, and supporting the most impacted sectors and vulnerable groups, while limiting the decline in international reserves, Okamoto said. – Nampa/Reuters

Senegal

Coronavirus restrictions would be eased in Senegal, president Macky Sall said late on Monday, with night-time curfews shortened and mosques reopened.

While confirming the rules would change yesterday, Sall said in a televised address that Senegalese would need to "adapt individual and collective behaviour" and "learn to live with the virus".

He said the Covid-19 disease would continue to circulate for at least another three months even under the best-case scenario. – Nampa/Reuters

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