Coronavirus News Africa

International Covid-19 update: More than 200 000 dead worldwide, Beijing bans ‘uncivilised’ behaviour

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

More than 200 000 dead worldwide

A total of 202 994 people have died worldwide since the epidemic surfaced in China in December, according to an AFP tally at 11:00 GMT Sunday based on official sources.

In total, more than 2.9 million cases have now been reported in 193 countries or territories.

The United States has the most deaths of any country with 53 934.

Italy is the second hardest-hit country, with 26 384 dead. Spain follows with 23 190 then France with 22 614 and Britain with 20 319.

As a proportion of the population, and excluding microstates, mortality is highest in Belgium (612 deaths per million inhabitants), then Spain (496), Italy (436), France (346) and Britain (299). The US (163) is far behind.

Easing lockdowns

All shops apart from malls are now open in Israel.

Saudi Arabia will relax its curfew between 9am and 5pm, and malls and retailers will be allowed to reopen in all regions of the kingdom until May 13, but a round-the-clock lockdown will be maintained in hotspots including the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Children in Spain, under strict lockdown since mid-March, can now walk, run or play outside for up to an hour a day, accompanied by a parent, in an area no further than a kilometre from their home.

Spotlight on masks

China says it has confiscated over 89 million poor quality face masks, as Beijing faces a slew of complaints about faulty protective gear exported worldwide.

Several countries and territories make wearing masks in public spaces obligatory. Nigeria’s state of Lagos is the latest to join the list.

Australia tracing app

Australia launches a smartphone app to trace people who come in contact with coronavirus patients. The COVIDSafe app, which has raised privacy concerns, uses a phone’s Bluetooth wireless signal to store information about people’s interactions, and can be accessed by health officials if a person contracts the virus.

Beijing bans ‘uncivilised’ behaviour

Beijing says it will ban “uncivilised” behaviour such as not covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, as part of new regulations to improve public hygiene.

Rulebreakers will be slapped with fines for offences including not wearing a mask in public when ill, and citizens must also “dress neatly” in public.

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