Rockets rain on Libyan capital after Haftar loses key towns

by Imed Lamloum Agence France Presse TRIPOLI, Libya (AFP) — The forces of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar rained rockets on Tripoli on Tuesday after being ousted by unity government loyalists from a string of strategic towns west of the capital. The capture Monday of the coastal towns of Sorman and Sabratha and smaller settlements further south was seen as a major blow to Haftar, who in April last year launched an offensive to seize […]

Malawi announces 21-day COVID-19 lockdown

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AFP) — Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday announced that the landlocked country will implement a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed two lives. In a televised national address, Mutharika said the lockdown will be effective from midnight on Saturday and will end on May 9. “This lockdown may be extended beyond 9th May as circumstances warrant, he cautioned. “I would like to urge you to fully […]

Starve or get sick’: Africa’s lockdown dilemma

by Fran BLANDY and AFP Africa bureaus Agence France Presse NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) — Women and children fell to the ground, bloodied and trampled in a desperate surge for food being handed out in a Nairobi slum, as police fired teargas and men with sticks beat the hungry. As African countries grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, observers warn that the traumatic scenes which played out last Friday will not be the last if governments fail […]

Locust invasion creates food crisis for 1 million Ethiopians: UN

ADIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP) — Swarms of locusts in Ethiopia have damaged 200,000 hectares (half a million acres) of cropland and driven around a million people to require emergency food aid, the United Nations said Monday. The findings from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which recently concluded a joint assessment with the Ethiopian government, come as the region is bracing for new swarms that could be even more destructive. Billions of desert locusts, […]

Haftar forces pound Libya capital after losing towns

TRIPOLI, Libya (AFP) — The forces of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar rained rockets on the capital Tripoli early Tuesday after being ousted by government loyalists from a string of towns to its west. Salvo after salvo of rockets caused loud explosions throughout the night, AFP correspondents reported. Several homes were hit around Mitiga airbase in the eastern suburbs, the capital’s sole if intermittently functioning airport. There was no immediate word on any casualties. The […]

Second Ebola death in DR Congo ahead of hoped-for deadline

KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — A second death from Ebola has been recorded in eastern DR Congo in the final days before a deadline, now scrapped, in which health authorities hoped to declare an end to a 20-month epidemic. Hopes had been high that the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday would officially bring the curtain down on the country’s 10th known outbreak of the notorious hemorrhagic fever. But on Friday, a 26-year-old man was […]

Ebola virus on the rise again in Democratic Republic of Congo amid COVID-19 pandemic

  (Eagle News) — The World Health Organization said that it has confirmed “a new case of Ebola virus disease” in the city of Beni in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “While not welcome news, this is an event we anticipated. We kept response teams in Beni and other high risk areas for precisely this reason,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. Tedros said that with the confirmed […]

Pandemic may cause Africa’s 1st recession in 25 years: World Bank

  by Susan NJANJI and Sofia CHRISTENSEN Agence France Presse JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The World Bank warned Thursday that sub-Saharan Africa could slip into its first recession in a quarter of century because of the coronavirus pandemic on the world’s most impoverished continent. “We project that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will decline from 2.4 percent in 2019 to -2.1 to -5.1 percent in 2020, the first recession in the region in 25 […]

Virus hits 66 at one SAfrican hospital, national tally jumps to 1,749

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Sixty-six people, most of them staff at one South African hospital, have tested positive for coronavirus, the health minister said Tuesday as the national total of cases jumpted to 1,749. Authorities are now rushing to temporarily shut the facility. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said authorities were concerned about an outbreak at St. Augustine hospital, in the southeastern coastal city of Durban. Of those infected, 48 are hospital staffers, the minister […]

Coronavirus threatens nearly 20 million African jobs: study

  ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP) — Millions of lost jobs, mounting debt woes and plunging remittances are among the economic hardships African countries can expect because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Union said in a study published Monday. “Nearly 20 million jobs, both in the formal and informal sectors, are threatened with destruction on the continent if the situation continues,” said the study, which noted that countries relying heavily on tourism and oil production […]

Coronavirus infects medics at Egypt cancer centre

  CAIRO, Egypt (AFP) — Egypt’s main cancer institute has confirmed 15 cases of the novel coronavirus among its medical staff, the facility’s chief said Saturday, sparking fears of exposure among vulnerable patients. “Three doctors and 12 nurses were infected by the virus,” Hatem Abulkassem, the director of Cairo’s National Cancer Institute, told a private Egyptian TV channel, adding that the 15 had been isolated. The facility will be sterilised over three days and patients […]

South Africa’s detected coronavirus cases rise to 1,505

  CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AFP) — South Africa on Friday announced two more coronavirus deaths and 43 new confirmed cases, bringing to tally in Africa’s worst-affected country up to 1,505 infections and seven deaths. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who released the latest figures, said the figure was likely to be underestimated due to testing limits. “I want to raise the point that this number is affected by… the limitations of the active testing that […]