Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing on the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria

As the world celebrates the Easter in a sombre mood due to COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.6 million have contracted the disease with more than 95,000 people dying from it.

A close observation on Sunday has shown that while some countries continue to have a decline in infections, others are seeing a continuous rise in the number of cases and deaths.

Here is a round-up of the coronavirus situation across the globe as of Sunday evening.

45 Nigerians recover from COVID-19 within seven days

Analysis has shown that no fewer than 45 COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged in the last week, totalling 85 since the disease broke out in February.

As of 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nigeria had recorded 323 confirmed cases, 850 discharged and 10 deaths, according to official data from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Spain infection rate slows amidst rising deaths

Despite the rise in the number of deaths and new cases, Spain has recorded a low rate of new cases in recent days—first time since March when the curve of the spread was high.

The country’s overnight rise in new cases was 2.6 per cent compared with a daily average of 12 per cent at the end of March and 20 per cent in mid-March.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Spain has risen by 619 since Saturday to a total of 16,972, Reuters reports.

The latest daily jump of 4,167 new cases is the lowest the country has recorded since March 22.

The outbreak has crippled its economy unsparingly but lockdown directives have been up to counter the pandemic.

Pope Francis departed from orthodox tradition  and live streamed his Easter Sunday mass to allow the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics to celebrate their holiest holiday.

In the Vatican, the pope delivered mass from a largely empty St Peter’s Basilica before a handful of token faithful sitting one per pew and with the choir’s Kyrie hymn echoing off the bare marble floors, the Associated Press reports.

He warned the European Union that it risked collapse if it did not agree on how to help the region recover.

“This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic,” he said in the message, almost entirely dedicated to the pandemic’s effects on personal and international relations.

“Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever!” he said.

South Africa coronavirus cases reach 2,173

South Africa announced 145 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 2,173, a health ministry statement said.

The statement stopped short of specifying whether any new fatalities had been recorded, which stood at 25 as of Saturday.

Libyan hospital treating coronavirus patients cases attacked

Armed fighters loyal to Libyan warlord, Khalifa Haftar, have attacked medical warehouses belonging to a hospital in the capital Tripoli that is treating coronavirus patients, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) said on Sunday.

While the country has so far reported 25 cases of the coronavirus and one death, the attack targeted depots of the Al-Khadra Hospital in al-Swani in the capital, Tripoli, with Grad missiles, and was condemned by the UN agency.

It would be recalled that the UN had earlier condemned the shelling of the hospital in which at least three civilians were wounded, calling it a “clear violation of international law”.

France’s coronavirus death toll rises to 14,393

The coronavirus death toll in France rose to 14,393 from 13,832 on Saturday, the French public health authority said.

The total number of infections reached 95,403.

Turkey coronavirus cases reach 56,956, deaths 1,198

Turkey coronavirus cases rose by 4,789 to 56,956 in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The number of deaths reached 1,198 from 1,101 the previous day. So far, 3,446 people have recovered, the minister said.

Canada coronavirus cases reach 23,719, deaths 674

The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Canada rose by 74 to 674 in a day, official data posted by the public health agency showed on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the total number of infections coronavirus reached 23,719.

Sri Lanka makes cremation compulsory for coronavirus deaths

As death toll continues to rise in Sri Lanka, authorities have made cremations compulsory for coronavirus victims, ignoring protests from the country’s Muslim population which says the rule goes against Islamic tradition.

Three Muslims are among the seven people who have so far died from the infectious disease in the country. Their bodies were cremated by the authorities despite protests from relatives.

“The corpse of a person who has died or is suspected to have died, of COVID-19 shall be cremated,” Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said on Sunday.

The decision has also been criticised by rights groups.

Coronavirus: Israel seals Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox areas

Israel shut down some old and widely condensed areas in Jerusalem amid the Easter celebration, to curb the coronavirus spread.

Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox town of 200,000 near Tel Aviv, was declared a restricted zone.

The entry and exit restrictions, enforced by police roadblocks, were imposed on the same day that a government order for the wearing of masks in public went into effect throughout the country.

While residents of the restricted neighbourhoods in Jerusalem can still shop close to home for essentials, synagogues have been closed to try to stem infections.

Israel has reported 10,878 confirmed coronavirus cases and 103 deaths.

Coronavirus: North Korea calls for tougher restrictions

North Korea called for tougher and more thorough countermeasures to keep citizens safe from the fast-spreading coronavirus at a meeting where leader Kim Jong Un presided, Reuters said on Sunday.

North Korea continues testing for the virus, with more than 500 people in quarantine, but has no confirmed infections yet, a country representative of the World Health Organisation told Reuters this week.

The virus had created obstacles to work on the economy, but the North had enforced consistent and compulsory “strict top-class emergency anti-epidemic measures” to maintain a stable situation.

At a meeting on Saturday, the political bureau of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea adopted a resolution to take “more thorough state measures” to protect people’s lives and safety against the pandemic, Reuters quoted the Korean Central News Agency as reported.

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