Covid-19 wrap: WHO warns 'long way to go' as global deaths pass 180 000, DR Congo gets $363m IMF aid

2020-04-23 10:15

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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WHO warns 'long way to go' in virus crisis, deaths top 180 000

Geneva – The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday warned that the coronavirus crisis will not end any time soon, with many countries only in the early stages of the fight, as the global death toll surpassed 180 000.

The pandemic has sparked not only a health emergency, but a global economic rout, with businesses struggling to survive, millions left jobless, and millions more facing starvation.

Nations around the world have been scrambling to fight the pandemic – which has killed more than 180 000 people and infected nearly 2.6 million worldwide – while desperately seeking ways to limit the devastating economic fallout.

As some countries have moved to lift lockdown restrictions that have upended daily life around the globe, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a sober warning.

"Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time," Tedros told a virtual press conference. "Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics. And some that were affected early in the pandemic are now starting to see a resurgence in cases."

 - AFP

US sees 1 738 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours - Johns Hopkins

Washington – The United States on Wednesday recorded 1 738 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a lower toll than the day before, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The new deaths bring the total number of Covid-19 fatalities in the US to 46 583 since the outbreak began there, by far the highest figures recorded by any country caught in the global pandemic.

 - AFP

14 more crew have virus on cruise ship docked in Japan

Tokyo – At least 48 crew members aboard a cruise ship docked in the Japanese city of Nagasaki have tested positive for coronavirus, local authorities said on Thursday after confirming 14 additional cases.

The Costa Atlantica first arrived in Nagasaki in January to undergo repairs, with around 600 crew on board. Officials said they hoped to test all crew members by the end of the week with "some 200 to 300" tests likely to be conducted on Thursday.

Over the weekend, the ship's operator contacted local authorities seeking help to test suspected cases on board. An initial four tests carried out on the ship revealed a first infection on Monday, with additional testing among 57 crew finding a total of 34 cases by Wednesday.

On Thursday, 66 new test results revealed the 14 additional infections, Nagasaki official Katsumi Nakata told reporters. Those 14 people are self-isolating in their cabins and at least one crew member has been sent to hospital and requires a ventilator, Nakata said.

 - AFP

Migrants in Greece shot after apparently breaking quarantine

Lesbos Island – Two asylum-seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos were shot and injured after apparently violating coronavirus quarantine rules, officials said on Thursday.

The two men, an Iranian and an Afghan, reported to the camp's infirmary with buckshot wounds late on Wednesday, sources at the Moria camp said. They were taken to the local hospital but their condition was not deemed serious.

The men told police they had ventured out of the camp, which is under lockdown alongside the rest of Greece's migrant facilities to limit the spread of the virus.

 - AFP

IMF approves $363m in virus aid to DR Congo

Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday announced emergency aid of $363 million to fight the new coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an African nation that had also been battling Ebola and militia attacks.

"DRC is experiencing a severe shock as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic," an IMF statement said. "The short-term economic outlook has deteriorated quickly due to the fall of minerals' prices and the impact of needed containment and mitigation measures."

Mineral exports, particularly to China, are the impoverished country's main revenue source.

The IMF approved a disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility equivalent to about $363 million to help the DRC meet urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the pandemic.

 - AFP

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Read more on:    dr congo  |  us  |  greece  |  japan  |  lockdown  |  health  |  coronavirus

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