Covid-19 wrap | Zimbabwe maintains lockdown, Kenya closes borders as Bundesliga returns


The coronavirus has killed at least 307,321 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year. There have been more than 4.5 million officially recorded cases in 196 countries and territories.

The United States has recorded the most deaths at 87,568. It is followed by Britain with 33,998, Italy with 31,610, Spain with 27,563, and France with 27,529.

Zimbabwe to maintain virus lockdown

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Saturday the lockdown imposed to control the spread of coronavirus would stay in place for the moment, but would be reviewed every two weeks.

From more than 25,000 tests conducted, the country has so far detected 42 cases, four of which proved fatal.

Kenya to close borders with Tanzania, Somalia over virus fears

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Saturday that the country's coronavirus measures would be extended and its borders with Tanzania and Somalia closed.

The East African nation will stop the movement of people and vehicles -- but not goods -- from its southern and northern neighbours from midnight, the president said.

"Among the positive cases that have been registered in the country this week, a total of 43 cases have recently crossed the border from neighbouring Somalia and Tanzania," Kenyatta said in a televised address.

That represents almost a quarter of the 166 cases recorded during that period, he added. Kenya has so far reported 830 positive coronavirus cases and 50 deaths.

Tanzania has been increasingly criticised over its management of the pandemic.

Meanwhile experts have warned that Somalia -- a fragile, under-resourced state already facing an armed insurgency, a locust invasion and flooding -- is unable to cope with an outbreak.

Angolan soldier kills teen during virus mask operation

An Angolan soldier shot and killed a teenager during an operation to enforce face-mask wearing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the government has said.

The home affairs ministry said a 17-year-old boy "was a victim of a gunshot" fired by a soldier on Friday while "allegedly" protesting against a military-led awareness campaign on the use of face masks.

In a statement late on Friday, the ministry described the case as "homicide" and that it was investigating the incident.

US approves at-home sample collection for virus testing

The US approved a DIY nasal sample collection kit for coronavirus tests on Saturday, adding to an array of at-home options for a country eager to expand its COVID-19 testing.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 21 approved a first at-home nasal sample collection kit under an arrangement that sends such samples to LabCorp, a major chain of laboratories.

The kit contains nasal swabs to collect a sample and a tube of saline solution to transport it to a specified lab.

Bundesliga is back

Germany's Bundesliga returns to action with the resumption of the first top European league since the lockdown watched closely to see if it provides a blueprint for other competitions.

The football matches will be played behind closed doors and players and coaches, who have been in quarantine for the past week, must follow stringent hygiene guidelines.

Hungary to ease virus lockdown in Budapest from Monday

Hungary said Saturday that restrictions on movement in Budapest will be relaxed from Monday, two weeks after lockdown rules were eased outside the capital.

A partial lockdown including a stay-at-home order introduced on March 28 would be lifted in Budapest as the "epidemic had also been beaten there" said Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

EU member Hungary, with a population of almost 10 million, has reported almost 3,500 infections of the coronavirus and 448 deaths as of Saturday, with growth in both numbers gradually slowing this month. Curfew rules in the countryside were relaxed on May 4, but the government kept restrictions in Budapest and its surrounding area as most of Hungary's infections were reported there.

Santiago lockdown

Chile's government orders a week-long total lockdown for its capital Santiago after a spike in infections over the last days.

Spain stays on high alert

A group of migrants rescued off the coast of Fuerteventura have been placed in mandatory quarantine as Spain moves to reduce the likelihood of imported virus cases, local officials said Saturday.

Their boat was pulled to safety by the Spanish coastguard on Friday night and all 38 migrants were taken to a port on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

They were rescued on the day that Spain began imposing a new mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement on any incoming travellers arriving by sea or air in a bid to avoid any imported coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government will seek a fresh extension of its state of emergency that will last "about a month" until the transition out of lockdown is completed, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Italy to reopen borders

Italy meanwhile looks to quicken its exit from lockdown, with the government announcing it will reopen to European tourists from early June and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

Beginning on June 3, visitors within the Schengen zone will be allowed to enter Italy with no obligation to self-isolate. Italians will also be able to move between regions, though local authorities can limit travel if infections spike.

'Corona demos' in Germany

As part of a growing wave of demonstrations in Germany by conspiracy theorists, extremists and anti-vaxxers against coronavirus restrictions, thousands of people are set to mass in Stuttgart, Munich and Berlin, with police out in force.

Air Canada to slash workforce

Air Canada, which has reduced its flights by 95 percent, announces it will lay off at least half of its approximately 38,000 staff.

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