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Americas


Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has caused controversy by attending an anti-democratic protest. The demonstration called for the closing of congress and the supreme court. Brazil ‘s health ministry has told people to stay at home because of coronavirus, but yesterday Bolsonaro shook hands and embraced his supporters. 7,000 Brazilians have now died, and over 100,000 people are confirmed to have the virus, however, real numbers are probably much higher, as testing rates in Brazil are very low.

United States secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, says that there is ‘enormous evidence’ that COVID19 started in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan…

Pompeo did not given any evidence. Most scientists say that COVID19 was not man made, and has an animal origin.

Africa


The Prime Minister of Cote D’ivoire, Gon Coulibaly has been transported to France for medical checks. The Prime Minister has been in self isolation since March, because of possible exposure to coronavirus.

Testing kits in Tanzania are said to be faulty. President John Magufuli says that some imported tests showed positive results incorrectly. The president said that they tried one test on a goat and it showed a positive result.

Madagascar has started exporting a herbal tea that it claims is a treatment for coronavirus. The tea has been sent to Equatorial Guinea and to Guinea Bissau. President Magufuli of Tanzania has also expressed interest in buying the tea. The World Health Organization say that there is no cure for coronavirus.

How has the pandemic affected your town or city? Send your whatsapp audio message to +44 7307 872 842, with your name and location

Asia


On the border between North and South Korea, guns were fired yesterday. Seoul said that they believe that a North Korean soldier fired accidentally. Yesterday Donald Trump tweeted that he was glad that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was well.

Afghanistan may have a much higher number of COVID19 cases than previously thought. Random testing in Kabul showed a third of people tested had the disease. Many Afghanis who were living in Iran, returned to Afghanistan because of COVID19. These workers may have brought the virus into Afghanistan.

Russia recorded its highest daily rise in confirmed cases of COVID19 yesterday. 10,600 new cases were confirmed, bringing a total of 135,000. In Moscow, one in 50 people are expected to have the virus.

In Europe

Some European sountries have reported their lowest number of deaths in over a month. Italy reported 174 deaths yesterday, the lowest toll since lockdown began on 10th March. Spain announced 164 deaths on Sunday, the lowest number for one day in 6 weeks. France reported 166 deaths, the lowest in 5 weeks. France will stop parts of its lockdown on 11th May.

Serbia will end its lockdown next week, as the infection rate has fallen greatly.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that he came close to death from coronavirus. The Prime Minister said that he needed ‘litres and litres of oxygen’, while in hospital, and that it was 50/50 decision of whether or not to put him on a ventilator. Johnson left hospital a month ago, and had a son last week.

Belgian people have been told to eat more chips. There has been an oversupply of potatoes in the country, as cafes and restaurants are closed. Belgium is famous for the popularity of chips, often served with mayonnaise.

Algerian singer Idir has died at the age of 70. Hamid Cheriet, better known as Idir, was famous for popularising Berber music. Idir spent much of his life in Paris, but continued to play music of the Kabyle people, a berber speaking community of Northern Algeria.


In Russia, the mayor of Moscow has said that 1 in 50 of Moscow residents could have coronavirus. COVID 19 arrived in Russia in January, however, cases remained relatively low until recently. The infection has spread quickly in the last three weeks, with 9,600 new cases yesterday. There are now 125.000 confirmed cases in Russia. The Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has the virus, and president Vladamir Putin has been working from home for over a month

The government of India has made it obligatory for all workers to use a tracing app. All public and private sector employees must use the app, which will alert people if they have been close to a person with COVID19. The government say that people’s privacy is protected, as all data remains anonymous.

Also in India islamophobia has been rising due to misinformation about the coronavirus. Social media has blamed Muslims for spreading the virus, and there has been a rise in attacks on muslims.

Today is press freedom day. The United Nations have stated the importance of allowing journalists to do their job without fear. UN secretery General Antonio Guterres says that good journalism,science and analysis are necessary to fight misinformation and conspiracy theories…

Malaysia has been criticised for detaining hundreds of refugees in efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. Authorities said that 586 illegal migrants were arrested in Kuala Lumpur, including Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The UN have described this arrest as ‘counter-productive.’

Singapore will relax its restrictions on the 12th May, after a 2 month lockdown.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been seen in public for the first time in months. There were rumors that the dictator was sick, however he was shown on state media yesterday.

How has the pandemic affected your town or city? Send your whatsapp audio message to +44 7307 872 842, with your name and location In Somalia people have reported many unexplained deaths in the capital Mogadishu. It is possible that these deaths are related to COVID 19. There are only 670 confirmed cases in Somalia, however, there is almost no testing in the country.

In Venezuela over 40 prisoners have died in a riot. The prisoners were trying to escape when a fight began between prisoners and guards. In Brazil some prison guards were kept hostage by prisoners yesterday, in the city of Manaus. Prison riots have been recorded across the world recently, in Argentina, Peru, Venesuela, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Honduras and Iran. These are often related to prisoners being scared of contracting COVID 19. In Argentina over one thousand prisoners have been released early, to stop the spread of coronavirus. Residents of Buenos Aires have protested, bashing pots from their balconies, to show that they disagree with releasing prisoners early.

In the United States 66,000 people have now died of COVID19. New York has been the epicentre with 24,400 deaths. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo says that the state is not ready to reopen…

In Spain, adults were allowed to go outside for exercise for the first time since March. Restrictions are being lowered in Spain, which has been on lockdown for 7 weeks. From Monday it will be compulsory to wear masks on public transport.

Coronavirus has had a positive effect on the world’s climate. Global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to fall by 8% in 2020. The largest recorded drop in history.

Helping in this effort, the government of Pakistan is employing thousands of people to plant trees. An initiative from Prime Minister Imran Khan has created over 63 thousand jobs for unemployed day workers. The aim is to plant 20 million trees in 2020.

1 million people are confirmed to have recovered from coronavirus worldwide.

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Starting in Europe…

In the UK, prime minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the epidemic has passed its peak. The UK has the second highest death toll in Europe, after Italy. Johnson said that it is not yet the time to relax restrictions. The Prime Minister also said that people may be encouraged to wear face masks soon… BJ: “And so I, can confirm today for the first time we are past the peak of this disease. We're past the peak and we're on the downward slide and it's thanks to that massive collective effort to shield the N HS that we avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable, worst case scenario was 500,000 deaths. But what I think Sage is saying and well, I certainly agree with you is that it is part of coming out of the lock down. I do think that face coverings will be useful both for epidemiological reasons, but also for giving people confidence that they can go back to work”

France has also changed its position on face masks. The government is now saying that face masks will be important for people to return to work.

In Germany people are required to wear face masks on public transport and in shops. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced yesterday that most public places can now reopen, however schools remain closed.

In Italy different regions are making their own decisions of how to end lockdowns.

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Asia

In Lebanon protests are continuing. Demonstrators are protesting against rising food prices and rapid inflation. The Lebanese pound has lost half its value since October.

India is mourning the loss of two Bollywood stars. Irrfan Khan died on Wednesday, and was well known by Western audiences for Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. Rishi Kapoor was famous as a romantic hero from Bollywood films of the 70s and 80s.

In Russia, the Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has confirmed that he has coronavirus. Covid 19 infections have risen dramatically in Russia this week, with total infections now over 100,000.

Both South Korea and Hong Kong have announced no new coronavirus cases.

Africa

In Ethipia people have been forcibly removed from their homes. Amnesty International say that at least one thousand people have been made homeless by municipal authorities.

To stop the flow of coronavirus into Uganda, authorities are testing every driver at the border with Kenya. Queues of 30 kilometres have been reported, with some drivers waiting for 3 days to cross.

Libya’s Tripoli government has rejected a truce with Khalifa Haftar. The warlord Khalifa Haftar declared himself the true leader of Libya on Wednesday, but the UN recognizes the Tripoli government.

Anti-apartheid activist Dennis Goldberg has died at the age of 87. The South African activist fought alongside Nelson Mandela against race separation. He was the only white man sentenced to jail in the Rivonia trial in 1963, and spent 22 years in jail.

The Americas now…

In the United States Dr Anthony Fauci has said that the drug remdesivir has shown a positive effect on coronavirus patients. Fauci, the government’s expert on infectious disease, said that there was clear evidence that the remdesivir helps patients…

AF:” the data shows that remdisivir has a clear cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery. The mortality rate trended towards being better in the sense of less deaths in the remdisivir group. What is proven is that a drug can block this virus.”

In Mexico hospital staff are protesting a lack of protective equipment. Workers say that they are suffering an unnecessary risk. Covid 19 cases continue to rise in Mexico, with 18000 confirmed cases, but with very low testing rates.

In Venezuela President Maduro has chosen an alleged drug trafficker as his new minister for oil. Tareck El Aissami was previously vide president of Venezuela, but has faced allegations of corruption, money laundering and drug trafficking.

In Peru thousands of people are leaving cities and returning to their hometowns. Bus terminals in Lima have been so busy that people are choosing to walk hundreds of kilometres. Peru has 30 000 confirmed covid 19 cases, the second highest in south America, after Brazil. However the testing rate in Peru is much better than in Ecuador and Brazil.

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In football, France has cancelled the rest of its football season. The same decision has been made in Holland, Belgium and Argentina. Spain, Italy and the UK have not yet decided whether football will continue. The UK is considering allowing the premier league to continue with players wearing facemasks.