Corona Watch

29 April 2020 | Economics

Egypt

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi yesterday ordered the renewal for three months of a long-running state of emergency, citing health as well as security concerns.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April 2017 when twin church bombings claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate killed dozens of people.

The state of emergency gives police broad powers of arrest and detention and curtails constitutional rights such as freedom of speech and assembly.

Yesterday's renewal also directed the armed forces and police to "take the required measures to face terrorism and its funding". – Nampa/AFP

Algeria

Algeria will extend movement restrictions for the second time by 15 days until May 14 to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus, the prime minister's office said on Monday.

But the curfew has been shortened over the past two days by two hours to help some businesses reopen for much of the day including shops for building materials, clothing and shoes, cosmetics and perfumes. – Nampa/AFP

Botswana

Botswana's president Mokgweetsi Masisi on Monday extended a 28-day coronavirus lockdown by another week ahead of a gradual easing of restrictions.

The southern African country has so far recorded only 22 cases of COVID-19, including one death.

After a one-week extension to May 7, measures will be "sequentially eased" over a further two weeks, the president said in a televised address. – Nampa/AFP

Nigeria

Nigeria will start easing a coronavirus lockdown covering its largest city Lagos and capital Abuja from May 4, president Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.

He announced new measures including a nationwide night-time curfew, mandatory wearing of facemasks and a ban on "non-essential" travel between different regions.

He also announced an immediate two-week lockdown in northern Nigeria's largest city Kano after officials said they were probing a spate of "mysterious deaths". – Nampa/AFP

Madagascar

Madagascar police forced citizens caught outside without a coronavirus face mask to sweep pavements on Monday, law enforcement officials said.

President Andry Rajoelina has made it compulsory to wear face coverings outdoors in the capital Antananarivo, as well as in the cities of Fianarantsoa and Toamasina, to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The new rule, which came into force on Monday, was announced on April 20 alongside the gradual lifting of lockdown measures in the three main cities.

Authorities warned that citizens leaving the house without face masks would face community service. – Nampa/AFP

Rwanda

Rwanda's economy will probably only grow by around 3.5% this year, undercut by the effects of the coronavirus, and the government is in talks with lenders to postpone debt repayments, president Paul Kagame said on Monday.

In January, before the pandemic spread globally, the International Monetary Fund had forecast Rwanda's economy would grow 8% this year and estimated it expanded by 8.5% last year.

But the east African country is expected to be hard hit by the coronavirus as it relies heavily on revenues from foreign visitors.

Rwanda will need about a billion US dollars to recover from the economic slowdown caused by virus, he said, adding that his government would source the money through a mix of debt and grants, without elaborating. – Nampa/Reuters

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