Corona Watch

26 March 2020 | Economics

South Africa

South African officials sought to identify quarantine sites across the country yesterday, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 709 from 554 and the health minister warned infections were expected to keep rising.

Public works minister Patricia de Lille told more than 16 000 beds in potential quarantine facilities, including government buildings, hotels, holiday properties and hospitals have been identified. - Nampa/Reuters

Zimbabwe

Customs officials at Zimbabwe's biggest airport stopped reporting for work yesterday, fearing exposure to coronavirus and a lack of measures to prevent its spread, their union said.

The Zimbabwe Doctors Hospital Association (ZDHA) said its members at Harare Central Hospital yesterday withdrew their services due to lack of protective clothing to handle coronavirus patients. – Nampa/Reuters

Mali

Mali announced its first two cases of novel coronavirus yesterday, to fears that the war-torn and impoverished West African state will struggle to handle an outbreak.

Two Malian nationals who arrived from France in mid-March tested positive for the virus, the government said.

All of Mali's seven neighbouring countries have also declared coronavirus cases. – Nampa/AFP

Morocco

Morocco has authorised hospitals to use antimalarial drugs in treating the new coronavirus, according to a document seen by AFP, as scientists urge caution over encouraging results from small trials.

The Moroccan health ministry on Monday gave hospitals and regional health directors the green light to start using hydroxychloroquine and related compound chloroquine "in the care of confirmed Covid-19 cases".

Studies in France and China have found that the drug helped patients suffering from the Covid-19 illness, and France on Monday ordered its use in severe cases. – Nampa/Reuters

Egypt

A small black market in the Egyptian pound has re-emerged in the last few days as the coronavirus takes a toll on the country's main sources of foreign currency, three bankers and businessmen said on Monday.

Some unofficial trades were taking place at 16.15 pounds to the US dollar, compared to the 15.75 pounds offered by currency exchange bureaus and banks, they said. – Nampa/Reuters

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