Corona Watch

14 May 2020 | Ekonomie
Lesotho

Lesotho, the last African country to have been unaffected by coronavirus, yesterday announced it had detected its first case of Covid-19.

The virus was detected on an individual among 81 people who were tested after arriving last week from Saudi Arabia and neighbouring South Africa, the health ministry said in a statement.

The patient is a Lesotho national studying in Saudi Arabia.

Lesotho went into lockdown on March 29 to protect itself from a potential spread of the virus from South Africa, which entirely surrounds the kingdom and has the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent. – Nampa/AFP

Angola

An Angolan citizen has been shot dead by police enforcing social distancing measures against the coronavirus in the capital Luanda, the government and a witness said.

Antonio Domingos Vulola, 21, was gunned down on Saturday after police clashed with a group of people caught flouting a nationwide curfew and a ban on social gatherings in Luanda's impoverished Huambo neighbourhood.

"The citizens showed resistance and set out to attack the forces of law, throwing sticks stones and bottles," an interior ministry statement said late Monday.

"In defence of their own physical integrity, law enforcement officers fired shots that accidentally hit the citizens in question."

The interior ministry has opened an investigation into the incident.

Rights groups across the continent have denounced widespread incidents of violence by security officials enforcing anti-coronavirus restrictions. – Nampa/AFP

Tunisia

Tunisia's external funding needs will double to about 5 billion euro (US$5.4 billion) this year from 2.5 billion euro previously expected due to the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic, prime minister Elyes Fakhfakh told France24 on Tuesday.

Tunisia started relaxing restrictions on movement and businesses this month, allowing half of government employees to return to work, but the pandemic is hammering its tourism sector which contributes nearly 10% of gross domestic product.

Authorities in the North Africa country expect the economy to shrink by 4.3% this year, which would be its steepest contraction in more than 60 years.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a US$745 million emergency assistance loan in April to support Tunisia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Nampa/Reuters

Senegal

Senegalese president Macky Sall has agreed to allow the bodies of citizens who died of Covid-19 abroad back into the West African state, soothing distraught families who had fought the ban.

The government banned the repatriations in April to stem the spread of the coronavirus, leaving scores in limbo in countries including France, Italy and the United States.

A group of families with dead relatives abroad sought to overturn the ban but lost a Supreme Court case earlier this month, when judges ruled that the government had followed medical precautions.

But in a televised address on Monday night, Sall evoked the grief of the affected families and lifted the ban, while also loosening other anti-virus measures. – Nampa/AFP

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