Ethiopia Makes Arrests After Protest That Claimed At Least 166 Lives

Members of the Oromo Ethiopian community in Lebanon take part in a demonstration to protest the death of musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa, in the capital Beirut on July 5, 2020. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Members of the Oromo Ethiopian community in Lebanon take part in a demonstration to protest the death of musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa, in the capital Beirut on July 5, 2020. ANWAR AMRO / AFP

 

A leading opposition party representing Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group said Monday that five senior members had been detained following violence last week that claimed at least 166 lives.

The political crackdown deepens fears of a large-scale roundup of government critics as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed seeks to maintain control and keep a lid on simmering ethnic tensions and resentments.

The opposition politicians from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were seized by security forces in the capital, Addis Ababa, party chairman Dawud Ibsa told AFP. They include Chaltu Takkele and Gemmechu Ayana, senior political officers, and Kennesa Ayana, a member of the party’s central committee.

“We don’t know why they were taken,” Dawud said. “They were just simply sitting in their rooms and doing their jobs.”

Protests broke out in Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia region following the fatal shooting on June 29 of Hachalu Hundessa, a pop star whose songs channelled marginalisation among his Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s largest.

An Oromia police official said late Saturday that 156 people had been killed across the region in the ensuing violence, including 11 members of the security forces. Ten additional deaths have been reported in Addis Ababa.

Officials have attributed the deaths to a combination of lethal force by security officers and inter-ethnic violence.

The situation in the capital has been calm since Friday, though a nationwide internet blackout remained in effect Monday for a seventh consecutive day.

Abiy, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize in part for opening up Ethiopia’s political space, lifted a ban on the OLF shortly after he assumed office in 2018.

But the OLF’s Dawud said some senior members of his party had been arrested numerous times since then and held for extended periods — several months in some cases — without ever seeing a courtroom, a tactic common under previous Ethiopian leaders.

“It’s the continuation of the past and we don’t know why it’s happening,” he said.

The OLF is not the only party to be targeted in recent days. During last week’s unrest officials also detained Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba from the Oromo Federalist Congress, as well as Eskinder Nega, a longtime government critic who has recently spoken out against government policies he argues favour Oromos.

All three men appeared briefly in court last week.

In addition, officials on Friday detained Yilkal Getnet, chairman of the opposition Ethiopian National Movement Party, for reasons that remain unclear, according to Girma Bekele, vice chairman of the Ethiopian Political Parties Joint Council, a consortium of more than 100 parties.

“I for one do not think Yilkal has any involvement with recent unrest. He believes in a peaceful, legal struggle,” Girma told AFP.

 

AFP

COVID-19: Britain To Bailout Theatres, Art Galleries, Other Cultural Institutions With $2bn

In this file photo taken on March 25, 2020 A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a remote press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic, in side 10 Downing Street in central London on March 25, 2020. 10 Downing Street / AFP
In this file photo taken on March 25, 2020 A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a remote press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 pandemic, in side 10 Downing Street in central London on March 25, 2020. 10 Downing Street / AFP

 

Britain will spend nearly $2 billion to help theatres, art galleries and other cultural institutions survive the coronavirus crisis, the government has said.

The British arts and culture sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, with live performances still off the cards for now and venues facing an uncertain future under ongoing social distancing measures.

A fund of 1.57 billion pounds ($1.96 billion, 1.73 billion euros) will help museums and historic palaces as well as companies involved in live music and independent cinema.

“The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic,” said a government statement released Sunday.

The announcement followed an impassioned call last week from some 1,500 acts including Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones for authorities to save the country’s live music industry from collapse.

Britain has Europe’s highest pandemic death toll, with more than 44,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities and a quarter of a million confirmed cases.

The nation’s arts and culture sector employs 700,000 people, according to the government statement.

In May, Shakespeare’s Globe, the replica open-air theatre in London, warned that it could close without emergency funds to get it through the lockdown.

“This news is truly welcome at a time when so many theatres, orchestras, entertainment venues and other arts organisations face such a bleak future,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber.

“It is absolutely critical that Britain’s cultural sector is restored to health as soon as possible.”

Simon Rattle, director of the London Symphony Orchestra, also hailed the new fund.

“We hope it will be distributed as fast as possible… as so many institutions and individual artists have been staring into the abyss,” he said.

England lifted a number of virus restrictions on the weekend, allowing cinemas, galleries, museums and libraries to welcome the public again after three months — though fears remain of a COVID-19 resurgence.

 

AFP

India Becomes Third Worst-Hit Country By COVID-19 As Cases Continue To Rise In US

A plasma donor (C) is seen at the newly inaugurated plasma bank of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) donating plasma for the treatment of patients suffering from the COVID-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi on July 2, 2020. Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP
A plasma donor (C) is seen at the newly inaugurated plasma bank of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) donating plasma for the treatment of patients suffering from the COVID-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi on July 2, 2020. Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP

 

India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections.

Despite signs of progress in parts of Europe — where the Louvre in Paris will reopen on Monday — total global infections are fast approaching 11.5 million, with more than 533,000 deaths.

The Indian government — like many around the world — has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday.

India’s major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.

The surge has forced authorities in India to convert hotels, wedding halls, a spiritual centre and even railway coaches to help provide care to coronavirus patients.

And in Australia, where the virus outbreak had largely been brought under control, a new spike in cases in Melbourne forced authorities to effectively seal off the state of Victoria from the rest of the country.

There was an illustration of the lingering threat of the virus in Fiji, with the Pacific nation confirming Monday its 78-day run without any cases had ended with a 66-year-old man testing positive.

US struggling

The US — the worst-hit nation — has struggled to respond to the devastation wrought by the virus, with its national death toll rising to nearly 130,000 out of 2.8 million confirmed cases, and many states hit by increasing infections after lockdowns were eased.

Hospital beds are full in parts of Texas, while calls for fresh stay-at-home orders are growing. Some mayors have said their cities reopened too early, as President Donald Trump tried to downplay the disease that has gripped much of the country.

The annual July 4 holiday weekend was overshadowed by growing evidence that the fractured pandemic response has exacted a heavy price across the south and west of the country, after previous hotspots such as New York emerged from the worst of the virus.

“Our hospitals here in Harris County, Houston, and 33 other cities… they’re into surge capacities. So their operational beds are taken up,” said Lina Hidalgo, chief executive of Texas’s Harris County, which includes Houston.

“Restaurants are still open. Indoor events can take place no matter the size,” she told ABC. “What we need right now is to do what works, which is a stay-home order.”

Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, also expressed concern that the healthcare system could buckle as the disease spreads rapidly.

“If we don’t change the trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun. And in our ICUs, I could be 10 days away from that,” he told CNN.

The US is now recording 40,000 new cases a day, with a peak of 57,000 on Friday alone.

Military medics

In South Africa, dozens of military medics were deployed on Sunday after a surge in infections in East Cape province.

Like India, South Africa imposed some of the strictest stay-at-home measures in the world in late March in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the number of infections is rising daily as lockdown rules are gradually eased.

Iran announced 163 new deaths, the country’s highest official one-day toll since the outbreak began, while Morocco discovered an outbreak in a fish-canning factory, with 300,000 inhabitants placed under lockdown.

The Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, will reopen on Monday with nearly a third of its galleries shut and crowding banned around the “Mona Lisa” and other masterpieces.

Latin America’s grim virus battle continued, with Chile passing 10,000 deaths on Sunday, while Mexico has had 30,000 fatalities.

 

AFP

Israel Launches New Spy Satellite Against Iran

A plane passes in front of the full moon as seen from Curitiba, Brazil on March 9, 2020. - The supermoon is visible as the full moon coincides with the satellite in its closest approach to Earth, which makes it appear brighter and larger than other full moons. Photo: Heuler Andrey / AFP
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: A plane passes in front of the full moon as seen from Curitiba, Brazil on March 9, 2020. – The supermoon is visible as the full moon coincides with the satellite in its closest approach to Earth, which makes it appear brighter and larger than other full moons. Photo: Heuler Andrey / AFP

 

Israel launched a new reconnaissance satellite early Monday, the defence ministry said, its latest asset to be deployed against arch-enemy Iran.

“The Israel Ministry of Defence and Israel Aerospace Industries have successfully launched the ‘Ofek 16’ reconnaissance satellite” at 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT), the ministry said in a statement.

The “electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities… will undergo a series of tests,” it added.

Minister of Defence and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz hailed the development.

“The successful launch of the ‘Ofek 16’ satellite overnight is yet another extraordinary achievement” for Israel’s defence sector, he said.

“Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the State of Israel… We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel’s capabilities on every front, in every place.”

Neither statement gave further details on the satellite’s mission, but Israeli public radio said it would be used to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities.

Israel has long sworn to prevent its nemesis from obtaining atomic weapons.

The Islamic republic denies its nuclear programme has any military dimension.

 

AFP

China Detains Professor Who Criticised President Xi

Armed police officers escort a van (behind) transporting Tong Ying-kit (not pictured) who is accused of deliberately driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers on July 1, as he arrives at West Kowloon court in Hong Kong on July 6, 2020. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP
Armed police officers escort a van (behind) transporting Tong Ying-kit (not pictured) who is accused of deliberately driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers on July 1, as he arrives at West Kowloon court in Hong Kong on July 6, 2020. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP

 

Chinese authorities on Monday detained a law professor who published essays criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and his efforts to consolidate power, according to friends of the man. 

Xu Zhangrun, a rare outspoken critic of the government in China’s heavily censored academia, was taken from his home in suburban Beijing by more than 20 people, one of his friends said on condition of anonymity.

Xu published an essay in February blaming the culture of deception and censorship fostered by Xi for the spread of the coronavirus in China.

The law professor at Tsinghua University, one of China’s top institutions, had previously spoken out against the 2018 abolition of presidential term limits in an essay circulated online.

A friend said a man claiming to be police had called Xu’s wife, who had been living separately at a university residence, to say Xu was arrested for allegedly soliciting prostitution in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Xu visited Chengdu last winter with a number of liberal Chinese scholars, although it is unclear if the arrest was connected to the trip, the friend said, calling the allegation against Xu “ridiculous and shameless”.

 

AFP

World Number Three, Thiem, Waits On US Open Decision

Dominic Thiem of Austria reacts after winning the ATP Tour Tennis Open semi-final match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy in Vienna, Austria on October 26, 2019.
Michael GRUBER / EXPA / APA / AFP

 

World number three Dominic Thiem said in an Austrian media interview published Saturday that he was keen to play the US Open if it can go ahead.

The United States has seen an alarming resurgence of new coronavirus cases. On Friday a record 57,000 new infections were confirmed.

The ATP and WTA tours are due to return next month, with the US Open starting on August 31 and the French Open beginning a month later.

Thiem said he trusted the US authorities to make the right decision.

“I think in the next five to seven days there will be a decision,” Thiem said.

“Of course I hope it (the US Open) will go ahead, but safety comes first of course. We have to follow countries’ governments — if they see any danger, they won’t allow a tournament, especially such a big one as the US Open,” the Austrian told public broadcaster ORF.

The 26-year-old plans to play in Kitzbuehel in western Austria in an exhibition event he is co-organising next and then in Berlin, after which he said he would do “intensive training” to prepare for Cincinnati and the US Open if those go ahead.

He played in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament organised by Novak Djokovic last month after which the world number one and three other participants all tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The matches, where social distancing was minimal, were played in front of thousands of fans, while the players were seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot, earning a storm of criticism.

Thiem, who has tested negative for the new coronavirus since Belgrade, reiterated in the ORF interview the “huge mistake by us all”.

“We all acted much too euphoric. The most important is that we learn from our mistakes,” he said.

 

AFP

Abia Governor, Ikpeazu, Recovers From COVID-19

A file photo of Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu
A file photo of Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

 

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has recovered from COVID-19, a government spokesperson said on Saturday.

According to a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Ikpeazu submitted samples on Thursday to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Thursday.

On Friday, the results of his tests came out negative.

READ ALSO: Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, Tests Positive For COVID-19

“Governor Ikpeazu is therefore deemed free of the virus according to the extant guidelines of NCDC and the World Health Organization (WHO),” the statement said.

Ikpeazu had been confirmed as COVID-19 positive on June 8 and proceeded into isolation.

According to the NCDC, Abia has recorded 382 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Although only 172 cases are active, three persons have died in the state as a result of the virus.

COVID-19 Patient Delivers Baby In Oyo

A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

Oyo state has recorded its first COVID-19 patient delivery, Governor Seyi Makinde announced on Saturday.

The baby was delivered at the state’s Infectious Disease Centre in Olodo.

“Mother and baby are doing well,” Makinde said in a series of tweets.

 

The Governor also confirmed 19 new cases of the virus in the state.

“The cases are from Ibadan South East (3), Ibadan North (3), Akinyele (3), Lagelu (2), Oluyole (2), Ibadan North West (2), Egbeda (1), Ido (1), Ona Ara (1) and Oyo East (1) Local Government Areas,” Makinde said.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Oyo state has now recorded a total of 1,451 cases of COVID-19, as of Friday evening.

“Sadly, we had two COVID-19 related deaths. So, the total number of deaths in Oyo State is fourteen,” Makinde said.

“Please call the Emergency Operations Centre on 08095394000 | 08095863000 | 08078288999 | 08078288800, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms: cough, fever, tiredness, body ache, loss of smell/taste and shortness of breath,” the Governor added.

APC Accuses PDP Of Links With ‘Hushpuppi’, Demands EFCC Investigation

 

The All Progressives Congress on Saturday said there were links between major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party and the US indicted fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as ‘Hushpuppi’ and added that those links should be investigated.

In a statement signed by the APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC alleged that there have been reports of “criminal conspiracy linking” top members of the PDP to the disgraced Instagram aficionado.

According to the APC statement, “the PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, and ‘Hushpuppi’s’ affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.

“At different times, “Hushpuppi” was photographed in Dubai meeting with the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Senator Dino Melaye among other PDP stalwarts.”

The APC called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the matter.

“We note that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already declared the arraigned Instagram celebrity wanted over fraud allegations,” the APC said. “However, the EFCC, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other sister agencies must investigate money laundering reports linking some PDP leaders and financiers to the Dubai-based international criminal ring.”

The APC also challenged the PDP to open up on the nature of their relationship with ‘Hushpuppi’.

“In the leadup to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, we renew our call against monetised elections and vote buying schemes which the PDP has serially deployed in elections,” the statement said. “We call on relevant authorities to up their guard to prevent these practices that threaten the sanctity of our elections. The people’s will and votes should determine elections, not illicit money used to buy votes.”

Hushpuppi, a Dubai resident was arrested last month by UAE security agencies for allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an English Premier League club.

Hushpuppi was then extradited to the United States and taken into custody by FBI special agents earlier this week.

If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Abbas would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Beer Flows Again In England’s Pubs After Lifting Of COVID-19 Restrictions

Customers leave with pints of beer for takeaway at The Ten Bells pub in east London on June 27, 2020. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP
Customers leave with pints of beer for takeaway at The Ten Bells pub in east London on June 27, 2020. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Some of the beer may be stale from sitting in kegs for over three months, but Britons were still eager to sip it as England reopened its beloved pubs as part of the next stage of easing the coronavirus lockdown.

“Gorgeous,” sighed Andrew Slawinski at a pub in northern London, echoing a sentiment possibly felt across the nation which shuttered its bars, cafes and restaurants in late March.

The government is trying to tease its key hospitality sector back to life on what has been touted as “Super Saturday”, with restaurants finally allowed to open their doors to customers again and barbers and hairdressers also able to get their clippers out.

Prince William got into the spirit of things, and was photographed visiting a pub in eastern England, but dutifully using hand sanitiser from a wall-mounted dispenser first.

The Spectator magazine warned against the dangers of drinking stale beer in pubs that were all shut in a hurry, suggesting that a pint actually might taste better on Sunday.

And Rishi Sunak, the finance minister, urged Britons to “eat out to help out”, pointing out that pubs and restaurants often employed younger people entering the jobs market for the first time.

“This is really about social justice,” said Sunak.

But safety was still at the front of many people’s mind and fear that social distancing measures could be forgotten as alcohol blood levels rise later in the evening.

“I’m no killjoy,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, “but the virus can still kill”.

‘Total chaos’

The first nationwide closure of pubs since the Great Plague of 1665 has contributed to a record slump in beer sales and compounded existing financial difficulties in the sector.

But takings could be up nearly 75 percent to £210 million ($262 million, 233 million euros) this weekend, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a think-tank.

It predicted 6.5 million customers — 1.5 million more than a usual weekend.

The British Beer and Pub Association said it hoped 80 percent of England’s 28,000 pubs could open but it could take 12 months or more for trade to return to normal.

“If 10 percent of them are profitable, that will be a surprise to us,” said chief executive Emma McClarkin, warning up to 18,000 drinking establishments were at risk of closure by the year end.

Some pubs are adopting a wait-and-see approach, as several surveys indicated many people were hesitant about mixing in larger groups.

In Newcastle, northeast England, where pubs are normally packed at weekends, just one in three city-centre pubs, bars and restaurants will be open, the local council said.

“We are genuinely concerned that this could be a day of total chaos for the pub trade,” the owners of the popular Tyne Bar on the city’s Quayside said in a tweet.

“We’ve decided it’s not worth the risk.”

Government guidelines insist on “minimum contact” between staff and customers, with table service only. Drinkers will also have to give contact details in case of any outbreak.

Britain has had some 44,000 deaths in the outbreak — the third-highest in the world — and concern remains about a second spike of infections as the lockdown is eased.

Pubs in Northern Ireland opened on Friday. A partial reopening is slated for July 13 in Wales and July 15 in Scotland.

Don’t blow it!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for the public to use common sense. “My message is, let’s not blow this now, folks,” he told LBC radio on Friday.

And he defended a weekend reopening, dismissing fears of raucous New Year’s Eve-style celebrations to mark the end of lockdown.

Health secretary Hancock told The Daily Mail that he would have a pint with his brother but would otherwise have a quiet night, describing how the crisis made him rethink his entire approach to life.

“People I admire and respect have died. Friends. I got off lightly,” he said in the sombre interview.

The hospitality industry and the emergency services have also warned the public not to overdo it.

Brian Booth, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation representing rank-and-file officers, said alcohol-fuelled crime and added pressure on overstretched health services.

Local accident and emergency departments were “akin to a circus full of drunken clowns” before the outbreak. “We do not need this once again,” he added.

 

AFP

Insecurity: Nigerian Army Asks Katsina Residents To Provide More Information

Army Speaks About Recent Attacks On Military Bases In North East
A file photo of troops. Source: [email protected]

 

The Nigerian Army is soliciting for more support from the good people of Katsina state especially in the areas of information gathering and sharing.

This is to strengthen its intelligence network in combatting banditry and other related crimes rocking not only Katsina in particular but the entire North West Region.

The Chief of Army Staff, represented by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Nuhu Angbazo made the request on Saturday during the Nigerian Army Covid-19 palliatives distribution exercise held in Faskari, one of the front line Local Government Areas of the state.

According to him, the Nigerian Army has ensured that it pays very close attention to the non-kinetic aspect of its military operations.

He said that the Army has enjoyed the support and cooperation of the good people of Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Niger states towards surmounting the challenges of insecurity not only in these states but the country at large.

Over 500 persons mostly Internally Displaced in Faskari Local Government Area have so far benefited from the palliatives meant to assist vulnerable Nigerians.

Meanwhile, a similar exercise is currently taking place in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT.

The measure is part of efforts to improve on the existing cordial relationship and in line with the efforts of the Federal Government in cushioning the effect of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the globe.

Two of the beneficiaries interviewed by Channels Television expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Army for the gesture demanding more military efforts in the fight against Banditry and other related crimes in their separate communities so as to go back to their normal life.

Spain’s Catalonia Places 200,000 People Under COVID-19 Lockdown

People enjoy a day at El Bogatell Beach in Barcelona on July 1, 2020.  Josep LAGO / AFP
People enjoy a day at El Bogatell Beach in Barcelona on July 1, 2020. Josep LAGO / AFP

 

Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region on Saturday locked down an area with around 200,000 residents near the town of Lerida following a surge in cases of the new coronavirus.

The move came as the summer holiday started in Spain and the country began re-admitting foreign visitors from 12 countries outside the European Union.

It had already opened its frontiers to people from the EU’s visa-free Schengen zone and Britain on June 21.

“We have decided to confine the del Segria zone following data confirming a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections,” Catalonia’s regional president Quim Torra told reporters, adding that no one would be allowed to enter or leave the area.

Regional health minister Alba Verges said gatherings of more than 10 people and visits to retirement homes would be banned.

Spain has been one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic with 28,385 deaths, Europe’s fourth-highest toll after the United Kingdom, Italy and France.

On Friday, it registered 17 virus deaths within 24 hours, its highest daily COVID-19 toll since June 19.

The number of cases now stands at 250,545 in a country of 47 million.

 

AFP