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Nigeria confirms first Coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Nigeria’s health ministry confirmed the first coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa on Friday as the virus continues to spread.

“The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on Twitter.

 

 

 

“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” Ehanire said.

Ehanire further added the government is aiming to ensure the outbreak is “controlled and contained quickly”.

“I wish to assure all Nigerians that … we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China,” he said.

“We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he entered Nigeria.”

Two other Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Africa— Egypt and Algeria.

The World Health Organization is wary of the weak African health care systems which are ill-equipped to handle the virus.

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VIDEO: Trump suspends travel from Europe to US for 30 days over Coronavirus, including those on transit

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US President Donald Trump on Wednesday night announced sweeping new travel restrictions on Europe in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a televised address from the Oval Office, Trump said all travel from Europe would be suspended for the next 30 days.

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Mr Trump said.

“The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight,” he added.

But he said the “strong but necessary” restrictions would not apply to the UK, where 460 cases of the virus have now been confirmed.

There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths.

Trump also announced a raft of measures aimed at offering economic relief to those affected in one way or another by the virus.

“We are in a critical time in the fight against the virus,” he said.

He promised to push for legislation in Congress that will provide emergency relief for workers who are sidelined by the coronavirus.

Trump will also seek an emergency payroll tax cut and tax relief and waivers for businesses “negatively impacted” by the crisis.

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Those measures together will add “more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy,” a statement that suggested federal officials are bracing for fallout from the stock market meltdown of the past few weeks and the slowdown in business.

 

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Lesotho Prime Minister resigns, Kenyan President was the last head of state to see him before he was forced out of office

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The party is over and the curtain has come down for the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane.

On Thursday, in a televised speech in the capital, Maseru, Mr. Thabane announced his resignation.

“Today I wish to reiterate my announcement to retire from office. I might still have the necessary zeal and fervor to continue serving my people and country, but the truth is that at my age I have lost most of my energy. I’m not as energetic as I use to be a few years ago,” he said

AFP

The 80-year old said the decision has been the hardest he’s made in his career. His resignation follows immense pressure from the ruling party and the opposition to resign after he was linked with the murder of his former and late wife Lilopelo Thabane.

“We… have decided that the PM should leave office by Thursday,” Montoeli Masoetsa, the party spokesman said.

“We cannot afford to have him any longer in office and we think it’s only for the best,” he told AFP.

Lilopelo was shot dead in June 2017 near her home in the capital Maseru two days before he took office.

Lesotho former first lady, the late wife Lilopelo. (Daily mail.)

On Thursday, the deputy police commissioner, Paseka Mokete, said the 80-year old leader will be charged with the murder of his late wife.

READ ALSO:   Suspected Coronavirus patient quarantined at KNH after landing at JKIA

“The prime minister is going to be charged with the murder. The police are preparing directives and he will probably be charged tomorrow,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete told Reuters by telephone

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane with his wife, Maesaiah Thabane, at the funeral of his first wife, Lipolelo Thabane. (timeslive)

Already police are closing in on his current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, who is accused of ordering the hit. She was detained this month and charged with ordering the murder, but is currently out on bail.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was the last head of state to see him before he was forced out of office.

Last year in the month of December, Mr. Thabane became the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho to undertake a state visit to Kenya after he touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for a three day state visit.

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Hon. Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

He was formally received by his host President Kenyatta at a colourful ceremony that included a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Army and a 19-gun salute.

The elaborate state reception ceremonies were followed by a private meeting between the two leaders before they led their respective delegations in bilateral talks that culminated in the signing of three pacts namely; a Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC), a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral consultations as well as a Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Sports.

READ ALSO:   TOUGH MEASURES: Kenya's President announces nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am

Mr. Kenyatta was banking on Thabane’s support and through him that of other members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in campaigning for Kenya’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in the election slated for June next year.

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Hon. Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

By Pulse Live

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Coronavirus costs minister job in Rwanda

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Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has hinted at firing more ministers in the coming days, accusing them of lying, carelessness and indiscipline.

At the Leader’s Retreat on Sunday hosted at the Gabiro Military Training Centre, Kagame warned that some officials “could be next”, following the firing of three top officials over the last three weeks, among them Minister of Health Diane Gashumba.

Dr Gashumba, who has served as Minister of Health since 2016, was sacked on Friday evening following “a series of habitual gross errors and repeated leadership failures,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced.

But speaking at the National Leadership Retreat, President Paul Kagame accused Dr Gashumba of lying to him about the availability of kits to test individuals for the deadly Coronavirus, Covid-19.

“One morning, I called one of the leaders and the Prime Minister about the Coronavirus and asked that they examine each one of us ahead of the Leader’s Retreat. I told them to tell the minister of health to ensure this.

“She responded that we have 3,500 kits, and that using 400 of them to test leaders would seriously deplete the number of kits we have. The person I sent told her that the message is an instruction and that if she has objections she should call me.

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Started giving excuses

“Later we discovered that we do not have the kits as she said. We have kits for only 95 people and not 3,500. I asked her about this and she started giving excuses in a long story. You leaders, you cannot even speak the truth; how do you expect to solve problems?” President Kagame said.

He then accused former State Minister for Education, Isaac Munyakazi, of accepting a bribe of Rwf500,000 (about $550) to doctor school rankings.

“Munyakazi met officials of some school that had been ranked last and they asked him to rank it among the top schools. He complied by putting the school among the top schools. He was awarded just Rwf500,000 for it. If I had not fired him, he would be here with us and none of you would come up to ask me why. That is how you have normalised bad behaviour,” President Kagame told the officials.

He said he sacked the Minister for Justice, Evode Uwizeyimana, for displaying “bad manners on several occasions.”

“Evode parked his vehicle in a place that people are not supposed to park and then tried to enter a building without being checked. The security guard followed him and politely told him that he must be checked but he instead beat her and threw her to the ground,” President Kagame said.

READ ALSO:   Suspected Coronavirus patient quarantined at KNH after landing at JKIA

“But it was not the first or second time. This is how he has been conducting himself and some of you knew this and you were quiet about it. You had shown him that he could get away with such behaviour. Which kind of people are you?”

President Kagame has hinted that more officials could be heading out the door.

Among the embattled ministers include Minister of Defence Major Gen Albert Musasira and Minister of Internal Security Gen Patrick Nyanvumba.

The President said the two ministers must explain a case regarding the state of national hospitals and warned that they could also be on their “way out”, without divulging further details.

In December last year, President Kagame fired Ms Seraphine Mukantabana, former chairman of Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, over mismanaging the commission. Mr James Musoni, a long-serving top official, was dismissed as Minister of Infrastructure in March 2018.

Mr Musoni, however, returned to government in October last year when he was appointed ambassador to Zimbabwe. In October 2018, President Paul Kagame sent home four senior officials for “gross misconduct” and also sacked an entire unit at the Ministry of Health for “wasting public resources”.

By NN

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