Covid-19 wrap: Over 372 000 global deaths, while Tanzania opens universities despite virus concerns

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

FOLLOW LIVE | 22 new deaths bring SA's Covid-19 death toll to 705. There have been 1 674 new infections, taking the total positive cases to 34 357

Coronavirus toll at 11:00 (GMT) Monday

Paris – The novel coronavirus has killed at least 372 047 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 11:00 (GMT) on Monday.

At least 6 182 860 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2 574 100 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic cases or the most serious ones.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 104 383 deaths from 1 790 191 cases. At least 444 758 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Britain with 38 489 deaths from 274 762 cases, Italy with 33 415 deaths from 233 019 cases, Brazil with 29 314 deaths and 514 849 cases and France with 28 802 deaths and 188 882 cases.

 - AFP

Europe pushes ahead with easing lockdowns, as Latin America cases pass one million

Moscow – Countries across Europe took bolder steps in easing coronavirus lockdowns, with schools, pubs, parks and pools reopening in places, while in Latin America the outbreak grew more dire with infections passing the one million mark.

The deadly disease has ravaged economies and threatens to tip the world toward a recession not seen in decades, while hemming billions of people in across the globe under lockdowns to slow its deadly march.

But from Russia to France, Italy and Britain, countries have started to emerge from months-long lockdowns, cautiously returning to a new post-pandemic version of normal.

The decision to allow schools to partially reopen in Britain drew scorn from some accusing the government of moving too fast.

"COVID-19 spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England," scientific advisor Jeremy Farrar said on Twitter.

Britain has the second highest death toll in the world after the US, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire for bungling the response to the outbreak early on.

 - AFP

Tanzania reopens universities despite virus concerns

Dar es Salaam – Universities in Tanzania reopened on Monday, despite a lack of clarity on the spread of coronavirus after the government decided to stop updating figures in April.

As students entered dozens of campuses across Tanzania for the first time since mid-March, there were only cursory efforts to impose measures preventing the spread of Covid-19.

New hand-washing stations were spottily used while crowded lecture halls made a mockery of social distancing, leaving some students concerned.

"My parents were not happy to allow me back to the college, but there's no way since it's the government order to resume classes," said Christopher Andrew, one of around 6 000 students at Dar es Salaam University College of Education.

In one lecture hall, a teacher admonished students after most removed their masks as they sat down.

"Next time, if you don't wear a mask you will not get access to my class," the lecturer warned.

 - AFP

West Bank poverty may double over pandemic as annexation looms

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories – Poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are hit by the coronavirus, the World Bank warned on Monday, just weeks before Israel aims to kick-start plans to annex parts of the territory.

The United Nations has meanwhile warned that such a move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government would stifle financial and aid flows to the Palestinians and "most likely trigger conflict".

Israel may start the annexation process as soon as 1 July with the support of US President Donald Trump, who in January published a peace plan that was roundly rejected by the Palestinians.

The UN warned in a report on Sunday that, without improved relations between the two sides and if annexation goes ahead, "the achievements of the Palestinian government over the last quarter century will fade".

"The peace and security situation will worsen, and a hardened and more extremist politics on both sides will inevitably result."

 - AFP

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