Friday 8th May 2020.
Today is VE day; Victory in Europe. 75 years ago today, Nazi Germany surrendered to British, American and Allied forces. Celebrations around Europe will not take place, because of the COVID19 pandemic.
In the UK people of ethnic minorities are four times more likely to die of coronavirus, than white people. The Office of National Statistics say that Black and Ethnic Minorities are more likely to live in crowded housing, and are more likely to work physical jobs, and may be more likely to have other health problems. In the UK 44% of health workers are non-white, however they account for 72% of health worker deaths. The UK has more than 30,000 COVID19 deaths, the second highest in the world.
The Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are planning to open their borders to each other. This will be the first ‘travel bubble’ that will allow residents to move freely between the three countries. Australi and New Zealand have agreed to make a travel bubble between them.
Coronavirus could kill 190,000 people in Africa, the World Health Organization has said. The WHO say that without containment, up to 44 million Africans could become infected. A shortage of protective equipment leaves health workers at risk. At the moment, Africa has far less cases than Europe, Asia and the Americas, however, cases are rising and testing remains low.
Misinformation about the coronavirus is also spreading in Africa; sometimes even among top politicians. The president of Tanzania endorsed inhaling steam, Madagascar is now exporting a herbal tea, and the governor of Nairobi told people to drink alcohol…
“that is hennesy which has some alcoholic content. And that should act as a strong sanitizrer, its kills the virus, in case the virus is in the throat. it kills.”
None of these are backed up by science. The World Health Organization say that there is no cure for COVID19. Yesterday, the WHO asked Madagascar to put its herbal tea through proper tests, before continuing to tell people that it is effective.
Leosotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has said that he will retire soon. He has been under pressure to resign after being blamed for the murder of his estranged wife, however, he says that he is retiring because of old age.
Floods have hit northern Rwanda. In the last few weeks, over 260 people have died in floods across Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Pakistan is starting to ease its lockdown. Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan will reduce its lockdown in phases, starting from Staruday. Pakistan has 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID19.
A gas leak in India killed at least 13 people yesterday. The gas is believed to have been released from a plastic factory in Andhra Pradesh.
Russia has reported another daily record, with over 11000 people being confirmed to have COVID19. With 177,000 cases confirmed, it has overtaken Germany and France to have the 5t highest number of confirmed cases in the world.
The Israeli parliament has allowed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Ganz to share the role of Prime Minister. Israel has has 3 inconclusive elections in the last year. It has been suggested that Netanyahu and Ganz may serve terms of 18 months each as Prime Minister.
In the United States, 75,000 people have died of COVID19. 33.5 million people have lost their jobs since March, around one in five workers. President Trump has tested negative for the virus, The White house said yesterday
Brazil reported a record of new COVID cases yesterday, with over 10’000 confirmed. Over 127,000 Brazilians are confirmed to have the virus, however, testing remains low. President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the scale of the virus.
On the border between Ecuador and Peru, the Siekopai tribe are trying to escape the coronavirus pandemic by escaping into the forest. The indigenous community has only 744 members, however 15 people have already tested positive and two have died. Many young and old siekopai people are taking canoes deeper into the amazon, to avoid contact with other people.
The international War on drugs is not working and should be stopped according to a new report. The Global Comission on Drug Policy have said that the crimialization of drugs is counter productive, as it puts power into the hands of criminal gangs. The report said that instead of criminalizing drugs, money should be put into education programs, so that people can make their own decisions.