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Covid-19: Gov. Bello of Niger tests negative

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Saturday tested negative to the Coronavirus (COVID-1).

Dr Maku Sidi, Commissioner for Health, confirmed this in a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency , in Bida.

“Gov. Bello was in Abuja for APC Governors’ Forum and other official engagements and had contact with those suspected to be COVID-19 positive; consequently, he submitted self for test and it came out negative.

“Since his return to the state, he has gone into self-isolation as a precautionary measure against the spread of Coronavirus.

“There is no cause for alarm; we are doing everything humanly possible to deal with the situation at hand as a normal precautionary measure.

“We in Niger are not taking things for granted; every citizen must engage in personal hygiene and take actions that can help us to overcome this health challenge once and for all,” he said.

He said that movements into, and outside, the state had been banned in the effort to prevent the entrance and spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.

The commissioner explained that the state government had generally imposed a curfew to force people to comply to the non-movement order.

He urged people to support government efforts to protect Niger residents from being infected by the pandemic.

Sidi urged residents not to panic over the development, but to adhere strictly to health advice, especially social distancing and the constant washing of both hands with soap and running water.

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Indian state Maharashtra crosses mark of 70,000 COVID-19 cases, financial capital Mumbai crosses 40,000 mark

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India’s western state of Maharashtra and the state’s political capital Mumbai crossed the 70,000 and 40,000 marks of confirmed COVID-19 cases respectively, as per the official update late on Monday.

Maharashtra is the worst affected Indian state accounting for close to 38 percent or 70,013 cases in the country, while India’s financial capital Mumbai has now turned into the epic center accounting for over 22 percent or 40,877 cases in India.

The death toll in the state rose to 2,362 after 76 more fatalities including 40 from Mumbai were reported in the past 24 hours.

Several districts in the state with nil cases have seen a spike in cases due to reverse migration from urban hubs like Mumbai and Pune back to their native homes during the past two months of the lockdown.

The western state had extended its lockdown by further one more month till June 30 with some relaxations but the under-funded health care infrastructure and poor living conditions in the city’s slums have acted as a boost to the spread of virus.

To further add to the stress, the coastal districts of the state including Mumbai city are on high alert due to the in-coming cyclone, which is closing in and expected to land on Wednesday evening.

India’s federal health ministry on Monday morning reported 230 new deaths from the COVID-19 and 8,392 more positive cases cross the country, taking the number of deaths to 5,394 and total cases to 190,535.

(XINHUA)

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New Zealand confirms no new case of COVID-19 for 11 consecutive days

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New Zealand reported no new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday for 11 consecutive days, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases staying at 1,504, according to the Ministry of Health.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the World Health Organization remained at 1,154, said a ministry statement.

The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 remained unchanged at 1,481, with only one case remaining active, it said.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand remained at 22, with no additional deaths, it said, adding there is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

New Zealanders can be assured that our testing capacity remains high and that testing at the border and in our communities will continue to be an essential part of our COVID-19 elimination strategy,” the statement said.

Regarding the gatherings at COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in the statement, “We’re aware of several large gatherings in New Zealand yesterday to recognize the tragic death of

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“Anyone

who attended these gatherings or who is planning to be at other upcoming events and feels they may be at risk by coming into close contact with people they don’t know, should take a cautious approach and seek advice,” Bloomfield said.

Whatever the Alert Level in New Zealand, it’s clear COVID-19 will continue to be a global threat for some time and it’s important we remain vigilant both as individuals and as a country,” he said, reminding people to observe physical distancing, seek appropriate health advice, and stay at home if feeling unwell.

“There’s currently no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand so at this time, quarantine for 14 days after attending one of these outdoor events is not required,” he added.

The current Alert Level 2 rules require gatherings of no more than 100 people where the people need to be physically distanced.

(XINHUA)

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Mexico’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 10,000

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Mexico’s death toll from COVID-19 reached 10,167 on Monday after an increase of 237 deaths on the previous day, its Health Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the country recorded 2,771 new cases, taking its total infections to 93,435.

Mexico is second only to Brazil in Latin America over COVID-19 deaths.

The Mexican government has announced it will ease restrictions in three stages to reopen the economy.

(XINHUA)

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Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll nears 30,000

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Brazil has registered a single-day increase of 623 COVID-19 deaths, raising the national death toll to 29,937, the health ministry said on Monday.

Over the last 24 hours, authorities have detected 12,247 new infections, taking its total to 526,447, while 211,080 patients have recovered.

Brazil’s largest state Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak where the first known infection was detected on Feb. 26, has seen 7,667 deaths and 111,296 confirmed cases, prompting authorities to extend lockdown measures until June 15.

Brazil’s second largest outbreak is in Rio de Janeiro state, where 54,530 cases have so far been reported with 5,462 deaths.

(XINHUA)

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False positive COVID-19 test sparks confusion in remote Aussie town

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A 30-year-old man reported to be Australia’s youngest COVID-19 victim was revealed on Monday never to have had the virus.

In a brief statement on Monday evening, authorities said a false positive test was behind the confusion, sparking a testing blitz in the remote mining town of Blackwater in Queensland State where the man lived.

After being found dead in his home last week, a post-mortem test returned positive for COVID-19, despite that the man had not left the town for several months and no other cases were reported within the vicinity.

Remote testing clinics were established and a specialist contact tracing team was sent to the area to solve the mystery, garnering national attention.

Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday apologized to the man’s family for the added grief and stressed they were forced to endure due to the heightened scrutiny.

To the family I know that is still grieving and I don’t want them to be stressed anymore. I know it is a very tough time for them but we do know that the coroner made that finding yesterday and we accept that finding.”

The man’s fiancee was also displaying symptoms before testing negative, and his actual cause of death was yet to be determined.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles also apologized for the grief caused to the man’s family, but added that every positive test needed to be treated as genuine.

(XINHUA)

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Portugal quadruples funds to companies fighting COVID-19 pandemic

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The Ministry of Territorial Cohesion of Portugal announced on Monday that it quadrupled the amount to 108 million euros (around 120.2 million U.S. dollars) offered to companies that modified their production to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This measure was taken, according to the ministry, to encourage the production of materials considered essential to control the novel coronavirus, such as visors, masks and alcohol gel.

“The non-repayable support of Portugal 2020 regional operational programs was extended to 108 million euros, aimed at companies that converted their production to respond to the challenges of the pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

Investments were made through the Norte 2020, Centro 2020, Lisbon 2020, Alentejo 2020 and CRESC Algarve programs, which are part of an incentive system for productive innovation and finance around 440 projects.

According to official data, so far contracts have been signed with 195 production initiatives, which allocated 40 million euros (around 44.5 million dollars) from European funds, including the Portugal 2020 program (PT 2020), a partnership between Portugal and the European Commission.

In addition, a program to support scientific research in the fight against the pandemic was launched, which is projected to invest 13 million euros (nearly 14.5 million), of which 3 million euros (around 3.3 million U.S. dollars) have already been allocated to 18 research projects.

Portugal has reported a total of 32,700 cases and 1,424 deaths from COVID-19, with 14 new deaths and 200 more cases recorded over the last 24 hours, the health authorities said.

(XINHUA)

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Peru’s COVID-19 cases top 170,000, deaths reach 4,634

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Peru on Monday reported 5,563 new COVID-19 cases and 128 more deaths, bringing the total caseload of infections to 170,039 and the death toll to 4,634.

Among the worst-hit areas, capital Lima has registered 103,020 cases, followed by the west-central province of Callao, with 12,495 cases, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

To date, 8,868 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 975 in ICUs (intensive care units) and on ventilators,” it said.

Peru began to relax lockdown measures at the end of May to restart economic activities in 27 different fields.

(XINHUA)

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Libya reports 12 new COVID-19 cases, 168 in total

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The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload in the country to 168, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement late Monday, the center said it received a total of 658 suspected cases, 646 of whom tested negative and 12 positive.

All the new infections are in southern Libya, the center said.

The southern city of Sabha recorded nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country in less than a week after the announcement of the first case in the city.

The UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli recently decided to ban the entry into and exit from Sabha and imposed a 24-hour curfew for seven days starting from May 28, in order to fight the pandemic.

The Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the virus, including closing the country’s borders, mosques and schools, banning public gatherings, and imposing curfews.

(XINHUA)

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Pakistani charity organization distributes food to people impacted by COVID-19

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Volunteers of a Pakistani charity organization arrange charity food boxes amid COVID-19 pandemic in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on June 1, 2020. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that people should learn living with COVID-19 by taking precautionary measure to avoid contracting it till its vaccine is made. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

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