Coronavirus wrap: Nigerian man shot dead for flouting lockdown, UK rush to build field hospitals and Germany to issue social distancing fines

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

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Nigerian man shot dead for flouting virus lockdown

Warri – A Nigerian man has been shot dead for allegedly flouting a stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police and a lawmaker said on Friday.

Nigeria has introduced a raft of measures, including lockdowns of major cities, to try to contain the virus, which has infected 184 people, two of them fatally.

Joseph Pessu, a resident of the oil city of Warri in the southern state of Delta, was killed on Thursday by a soldier deployed to enforce the lockdown, the sources said.

"The incident occurred yesterday with the youths protesting," state police spokesperson Onome Onowakpoyeya told AFP. Angry young people lit fires in the streets but police later restored calm, he said.

 - AFP

Under-fire UK govt rushes to build field hospitals as virus death toll surges

London – The UK government said Friday it was rushing to build more emergency field hospitals ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus cases, hours after recording a record 569 deaths from the disease.

Two new facilities will be built in Bristol in the west and Harrogate in the north to house up to 1 500 patients, the state-run National Health Service (NHS) said in a statement.

The announcement comes as a similar 4 000-bed facility in London – built in less than 10 days – prepares to open on Friday, and as criticism mounts over the government's failure to provide screening, particularly for frontline healthcare workers.

"Further such hospitals will open next in Birmingham and Manchester, offering up to 3 000 beds between them," the NHS statement added.

The health ministry announced a record 569 deaths from the virus in Britain in the 24 hours up to 16:00 (GMT) on Wednesday – the largest single-day rise yet. It followed 563 deaths over the previous corresponding period.

 - AFP

Germans to be fined up to 500 euros for breaking distancing rules

Berlin – Germans risk being fined up to €500 for standing too close to each other from Friday as officials crack down on people flouting rules brought in to control coronavirus.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has ordered people not leave their homes unless they have an exceptional reason such as grocery shopping, exercise or medical appointments.

Gatherings of more than two people are banned and a distance of at least 1.5m must be kept from others at all times. Local governments have the power to set fines for transgressors, with city officials in Berlin saying their fines would be as high as €500.

 - AFP

Japan shifts focus to patients with severe symptoms

Japan shifted its focus more to coronavirus patients with severe symptoms, asking those who are less ill to stay home or at accommodation designated by local authorities, as specialised beds run short with the outbreak spreading fast.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato said his ministry issued the instruction to all prefectures, including hard-hit Tokyo.

 - AFP

Thailand curfew to begin

Thailand will begin enforcing a six-hour curfew from Friday night in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus and has warned anyone who breaches the order faces a two-year jail term.

The curfew runs from 22:00 to 04:00, and bars everyone in the country from leaving their homes, except for workers in essential services.

 - AFP

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This is long overdue
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The current permitted alcohol level isn't the problem - irresponsible drivers are
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A zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving is unworkable in SA
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