Coronavirus epidemic in Nigeria highlights emerging threat in Africa: live coverage


An epidemic in Nigeria is just one of Africa’s alarming hot spots.

The coronavirus has been relatively slow to establish itself in Africa, but flamboyant hot spots are beginning to emerge on the continent.

In the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, authorities say the burials have tripled. In Tanzania, after the cases suddenly increased and the US embassy issued a health alert and the government abruptly stopped publishing its data two weeks ago.

Officially, Kano, with an estimated population of five million, has reported 753 infections and 33 related deaths, but these figures do not reflect what health workers and residents say they see in the field.

The Kano state government, until recently, has said that a series of unusual deaths is not due to the coronavirus, but to hypertension, diabetes, meningitis or acute malaria. There is little social distancing and few people are tested.

“The management is in denial,” said Usman Yusuf, professor of hematology-oncology and former head of Nigeria’s national health insurance agency. “It’s almost like saying there is no Covid in New York.”

The location, population and connectivity of Kano to the rest of the region means that the consequences of an uncontrolled epidemic could be serious.

There are already reports that hundreds of additional people have died, which some officials call “mysterious deaths” in the northern states of Nigeria, Jigawa, Yobe, Sokoto and Katsina.

“If Kano falls, all of northern Nigeria falls. The whole of Nigeria is falling, “said Dr. Yusuf. “It spreads to the whole of West Africa and to the whole of Africa.”

Jilin found nearly 700 contacts of coronavirus patients for testing and quarantine, while officials in Liaoning Province found more than 1,000 contacts and about 6,500 people at high risk of infection.

China reported five new confirmed infections on Saturday, three of them locally transmitted in Jilin Province and two abroad. The country has reported more than 89,000 cases in total and 4,634 deaths.

And in southern China, the governments of Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong Province are discussing the creation of a “travel bubble” that would allow qualified residents to travel to the region without being required to quarantine.

All of these developments have helped push oil prices up modestly in recent weeks after they hit historic lows in the middle of the pandemic.

“May, it seems, is a month when traders can finally sit more comfortably for a while and catch their breath,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research at Rystad Energy, a research company and advice. “But we warn that the second half of the year will not be confronted with oil prices again before the crisis, because the gigantic overhang of the oil stock must first be reduced. “

Any plan to win the battle against the coronavirus inevitably hinges on the development of a vaccine.

But two leaders from particularly affected European countries made clear this weekend that it was impractical, or even possible, to wait for a vaccine before lifting restrictions on society, while acknowledging that it would risk ” fuel new epidemics.

Italy is ready on Monday to open a large part of the country, including restaurants, bars and shops, and to allow Italians to legally visit their friends. But the country has increasingly given up hope for a quick solution. In announcing the new measures, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made it clear that the country could “not afford” to wait for a vaccine.

He said that even if the data for the two weeks following the start of the Italian loosening had been “encouraging”, the government remained aware “that the epidemiological curve could go up”.

“We face this risk and we must accept it,” he said. “Otherwise, we could never raise. “

“We must recognize that we may need to live with this virus for some time to come,” wrote Johnson.

Earlier this week, a senior health official from the World Health Organization warned that the virus may never be eradicated.

Dr. Shi, a prominent researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has dismissed accusations that the virus emerged from his laboratory. The Trump administration has urged U.S. intelligence officials to seek evidence to support this unproven theory as it intensifies a public campaign to blame China for the pandemic. Intelligence agencies are skeptical of the possibility of finding such evidence and scientists say it is very likely that it was passed from animal to human in a non-laboratory environment.

Dr. Shi has been dubbed “the bat” by the Chinese media because of his years of experience studying the links between bats and viruses. As the new coronavirus epidemic broke out, it helped establish that the new virus most likely originated from a bat. But she was watched in China and abroad when people wondered if the virus came from her laboratory – intentionally or accidentally.

The results reinforce the idea that the Chinese horseshoe bat is the natural host of coronaviruses such as those that cause SARS and Covid-19, the newspaper said. “Continuous surveillance of this group of viruses in bats is necessary for the prevention of the next SARS-like disease. “

When President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly declared “war” against the coronavirus in March, he solemnly promised that France would support “frontline” health workers with “the means, the protection”.

This left France – unlike Germany, its rival for European leadership – dependent on foreign factories and painfully unable to increase domestic production of face masks, test kits, ventilators and even thermometers and medicines. over-the-counter anti-fever to soothe the patient.

Today, as it began to loosen one of the most stringent locks in the world, France has become a case study of how some countries are now reconsidering their dependence on chains of Global supplies built over the past two decades on the mantra of low costs and fast delivery. Even today, France has no guarantee that it will be able to stock up enough in the coming weeks to protect itself from a possible second wave of the virus.

Louis Gautier, the former director of the General Secretariat of Defense and National Security, a powerful inter-ministerial unit within the Prime Minister’s Office which coordinates response to large-scale crises, said: “The question of strategic stocks and of secure supply should be reconsidered. A new model must be invented. “

Zuckerberg has long been the face of the social network, which claims an average of more than 2.6 billion monthly users, one third of the world’s population. But he was also a sort of binary executive – extraordinarily involved in certain aspects of the business, and hands-free in other areas.

The beginning of the end of Mr. Zuckerberg’s remote leadership occurred on November 8, 2016, with the election of Donald Trump. From that moment on, a series of crises around fake news, data sharing and political manipulation pushed Mr. Zuckerberg to tighten his grip.

The redesign was not without incident. In early May, Facebook struggled to manage a conspiracy video called “Plandemic”, which was embarrassing as the images spread to millions of users. Last week, the Detroit Metro Times showed that the company was blind to the assassination activities that stoke the pages of 400,000 members.

In theory, the current crisis is harnessing some of Mr. Zuckerberg’s strengths. Through his personal philanthropy, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, he has a long-standing interest in public health.

Or the pandemic could take anything dangerous on Facebook and make it worse. And if Mr. Zuckerberg fully controls his business, the responsibility for his response will fall entirely on him.

Each year, Swaminathan Vinayakram and his group leave their homes in the city of Chennai, in the south of India, to play with musicians across the United States.

The group – 3G, which represents three generations – includes his grandfather Vikku, a Grammy-nominated percussionist who plays gatham, a clay pot. In early March, they landed in Houston and played in front of a crowded crowd of 400 people who rocked to the music and rejected the drinks.

Then the world seemed to stop.

The coronavirus epidemic resulted in the cancellation of their shows from San Francisco to New York. The same was true of their collaborations with American jazz musicians who are said to have fused saxophones and the piano with the optimistic rhythms of carnatic music from South India and its centuries-old instruments.

On March 19, India gave its citizens abroad two days to return before suspending all international travel. As a rush ensued among the 17.5 million Indians in the world’s largest diaspora, 3G only managed to get three tickets for its group of five.

Mr. Vinayakram, 27, and his father remained in Jersey City, N.J., and the confinement pardoned them. Mr. Vinayakram therefore did something from the 1990s, when the Internet was an exciting innovation and a fashionable globalism: he published a call to musicians for collaborations.

Now he’s connected to a more diverse group of musicians than ever.

“Thanks to Facebook, I meet musicians that I have never heard of or that I never dreamed of playing with,” he said in a telephone interview.

Dozens sent him tracks of their improvisations, which he superimposes on the kanjira, a South Indian frame drum with a pair of jingles.

But he still wants the pandemic to end. It lacks the pleasure of playing in front of a live audience.

“When I was a kid, I dreamed of playing live for thousands of people,” said Vinayakram. “It now looks like a dream. “

“The question is, how do you go back and make significant changes to the order to stay at home?” California Governor Gavin Newsom said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And this is where we are now in this point of friction and frustration. “

Like a number of other governors, Newsom, a Democrat, has seen criticism from many sides of his decisions, such as being painfully slow or recklessly quick.

Debates across the country have also focused on how to account for the uneven number of viruses across the United States.

Appearing on the same CNN show, Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and social services, suggested that the high number of deaths from Covid-19 was linked to the prevalence of underlying health problems in minority communities.

“Unfortunately, the American population is very diverse, and it is a population with significant unhealthy co-morbidities that makes many individuals in our communities, especially minority African-American communities, particularly at risk,” said M Azar.

“It is an unfortunate legacy of our health care system that we certainly need to fix,” he added.

“More than anything else, this pandemic has completely, finally torn the curtain on the idea that so many officials know what they are doing,” said Obama.

The lock was to expire on Sunday. But the Indian Interior Ministry has said that restaurants, shopping malls, schools and religious centers will remain closed until at least May 31, as well as domestic and international travel. Officials have relaxed rules for hair salons and interstate bus services, except in some hot spots.

The new rules arrived about two weeks after India began to loosen its tight lockdown, which was imposed in late March. Small wedding ceremonies were allowed earlier this month, and many businesses have reopened, including liquor stores, pet stores and electrical stores.

India, a country of 1.3 billion people, has reported more than 90,000 cases and more than 2,800 deaths.

Testing remains largely limited to symptomatic cases, but there is evidence that the lock-up has helped smooth the growth curve for coronaviruses in India. At the end of March, it only took three days for the number of cases identified to double. Now it takes almost two weeks.

Every five days, Daniel Ordoñez opens 1,400 taps in a waterfront hotel in Barcelona, ​​Spain, which locals call “The Sail” because of its shape.

Each tap should last about five minutes, so it takes an entire day. “It is probably the most boring part of my job, but it is necessary,” he said, to avoid a form of pneumonia that can be spread by bacteria in water: Legionnaires’ disease .

Mr. Ordoñez, who is responsible for the maintenance of the hotel, has been its only continuous occupant for two months, wandering in its ghostly rooms because of another disease which ravaged the country and the world: Covid-19.

He now lives alone on the 24th floor, which gives him a breathtaking view of the city, its beaches and the Mediterranean. “At first I thought I would be here for about two weeks,” said Mr. Ordoñez, single. “But now it’s eight o’clock, with no end in sight. “

The reports were provided by Mike Isaac, Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang, Clifford Krauss, Ruth Maclean, Abdi Latif Dahir, Jason Horowitz, Simon Marks, Kai Schultz, Mihir Zaveri, Karen Zraick, Andrea Kannapell, Iliana Magra, Raphael Minder, Dan Bilefsky, Norimitsu Onishi, Constant Méheut, Tiffany May, Vivian Wang, Maria Abi-Habib, Henrik Pryser Libell, Mike Baker, Andrew E. Kramer, Motoko Rich, Hisako Ueno, Hikari Hida, Audra D.S. Birch, John Eligon, Michael D. Shear, Michael Levenson, Sheila Kaplan, Ernesto Londoño, Manuela Andreoni and Letícia Casado.


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