International Covid-19 update: Chinese medics to assist Nigeria, virus causes ceasefire in Yemen

2020-04-08 22:10
(Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

(Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

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A group of Chinese medics have arrived in Nigeria to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, despite angry criticism from health workers in the west African nation, AFP reports. 

The 15-strong team were greeted by senior officials on the tarmac at Abuja airport after flying in on a month-long deployment with a planeload of medical supplies.

China - where the first outbreak of the Covid-19 disease occurred - has dispatched medics and supplies across the globe in a soft power push to burnish its image.

But the move to send help to Nigeria sparked an irate backlash from the country's biggest doctors' union. On Sunday, the Nigerian Medical Association condemned the planned deployment as "a thing of embarrassment" to health workers fighting the disease in Africa's most populous country "under deplorable conditions".

"It is a great disservice to the morale of the long-suffering front-line health workforce if the government goes ahead to invite these Chinese doctors," a statement said.

"The invitation demeans their sacrifices so far in this pandemic."

Nigeria - which has so far recorded 254 confirmed cases of the virus and six deaths - is seen as highly vulnerable to the spread of the virus due to its weak healthcare system and high population density.

Ceasefire in Yemen because of coronavirus

The Riyadh-led military coalition declared a two-week ceasefire in Yemen starting on Thursday in a bid to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, AFP reports

"We are announcing a ceasefire starting (Thursday) for two weeks. We are expecting the Huthis (Yemeni rebels) will accept. We are preparing the ground to fight Covid-19" in Yemen, a senior official said.

The Saudi-led military coalition has been active in Yemen's conflict in support of an internationally recognised government since 2015.

First Covid-19 death in Malta

Malta recorded its first coronavirus victim Wednesday, after a 92-year old woman with underlying health issues died, AFP reports.

The woman had been living in an old age home in Gozo, according to Maltese media reports.

The Mediterranean island has recorded 299 infected people since its first case on 7 March.

Read more on:    coronavirus
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