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Wednesday 6th May 2020.

Asia

India will repatriate tens of thousands of its citizens. 190000 Indians currently stuck in other countries will be brought back to India in the next few weeks. Many are manual labourers working in the Middle East. India saw its biggest rise in confirmed cases of COVID19 yesterday, bringing the total to 46000.

In Tajikistan, the minister for health has been fired, after a fast rise in coronavirus cases. Tajikistan did not confirm any case of COVID19 until last week, but has suddenly confirmed 300 cases and 5 deaths.

In the Philippines the biggest TV channel has been closed down by the government. ABS CBN has been repeatedly attacked by President Rodrigo Duterte. According to Reporters Without Borders, journalists in the Philippines often suffer harassment, and, sometimes violence.

Australia and New Zealand are in talks to restart travel between them. Yesterday New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the benefits of creating a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’


Africa

Uganda has extended its lockdown but has relaxed some measures. Yesterday in Kampala many businesses were open, but there was less movement than usual.

Sudan criminalized Female Genital Mutilation last week. However, women’s rights activists say that there is still a long way to go to stop the practice. Activists say that the tradition will be difficult to stop, as almost 9 out of ten girls and women have had FGM performed on them. It is now punishable by 3 years in prison to remove any part of female genitalia.

South Africa has started trials of the BCG vaccine to fight coronavirus. The vaccine is primarily used against tuberculosis. South Africa and Egypt have the most confirmed COVID19 cases in Africa, both having over 7000 cases confirmed, however, South Africa’s testing rate is 5 times better than Egypt’s.

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Europe

The UK became the country with the highest number of confirmed COVID19 deaths in Europe yesterday, passing Italy. Over 30,000 deaths have now been confirmed in the UK, the second highest in the world after the United States.

The UK and the USA have stated that cyber attacks have taken place on laboratories investigating vaccines. They have suggested the possibility of either China or Russia trying to hack laboratories. British foreign secretary Dominic Raab spoke about this yesterday…

Airlines are suffering greatly from a lack of travel . Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair are cutting 3000 jobs each, and British Airways will cut 12000 staff. South African Airways collapsed this week. Argentina has officially stopped all internal and external flights. World passenger traffic is down 90%.

And in the Americas

Donald Trump yesterday promised a COVID19 vaccine by the end of 2020. He also said that China made a ‘horrible mistake’ by covering up the original outbreak of COVID19…

In Peru over 50,000 COVID19 cases have been confirmed. It has the second highest number of confirmed cases in South America after Brazil, however Peru’s number is likely to be more accurate than most other South American countries. Peru’s rate of testing is almost ten times higher than Brazil’s.

In Chile, scientists have prepared a test that could help diagnose COVID 19 - by the sense of smell. The aroma test kit, developed in the Catholic University of Santiago, will not tell people that they do have coronavirus, but, it will tell people if they definitely don’t have the disease. The University say that this test is very cheap and could be used on a massive scale, to test people who show no symptoms of the disease.

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