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Corona-virus cases worsening globally – WHO

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The United Nations specialized agency responsible for international public health; World Health Organization (WHO) says the deadly Corona-virus menace is far from over, and that it is now getting worse.

The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening globally, with more than 136,000 cases recorded on Sunday last week- the highest number in a single day.

“More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal. This is the time for countries to continue to work hard, on the basis of science, solutions and solidarity”, said WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking on Monday during his regular briefing on the crisis.

WHO said more than 100,000 cases have been reported in the past 10 days, culminating in the highest one-day total so far on Sunday.  Most cases came from 10 countries, mainly in the Americas and South Asia.

“Most countries in the African region are still experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, with some reporting cases in new geographic areas, although most countries in the region have less than 1,000 cases. We also see increasing numbers of cases in parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia”, he said.

While encouraged by “positive signs” in some nations, head of WHO  has warned against complacency as countries continue to confront COVID-19 and citizens grow weary of stay-at-home measures aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.

Tedros told journalists that although lockdowns and physical distancing have helped suppress transmission in many countries, the virus remains “extremely dangerous”. Most of the global population continue to be highly susceptible, which means the pandemic can easily re-ignite.

“One of the greatest dangers we face now is complacency. People in countries with stay-at-home orders are understandably frustrated with being confined to their homes for weeks on end”, he said.

“People understandably want to get on with their lives, because their lives and livelihoods are at stake. That’s what WHO wants too. And that’s what we are working for, all day, every day.” However, Tedros said moving forward will have to mean accepting “a new normal”, and forging a world that is healthier, safer and better prepared.

Countries are continuing to study asymptomatic cases, said Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead at the WHO. She explained that these patients, who experience very mild symptoms if any at all, rarely help to fuel the spread of COVID-19, according to reports from countries doing detailed contract tracing.

While WHO is continually gathering more information to truly understand this topic comprehensively, “it still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward.” More important to containing the virus, said Van Kerkhove, is studying and tracing symptomatic cases, given their contribution to virus spread.

“If we actually followed all of the symptomatic cases, isolated those cases, follow the contacts and quarantine those contacts, we would drastically reduce transmission,” she said. “If we could focus on that, I think we would do very, very well in terms of suppressing transmission.”

Neighbouring South Africa is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of Corona-virus cases. The number which exceeded 50,000 on Monday is the highest in the African region, this is according to the latest data from World Health Organization.

The countries with the highest number of cases are; South Africa with 50,879, Egypt with 35,444, Nigeria with 12,486 and Algeria with 10,265, this as of Monday this week.

“As of today, the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 50,879, the total number of deaths is 1,080 and the recoveries to date are 26, 099,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Twitter. President Cyril Ramaphosa said more than half of the cases have been seen in the past two weeks.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The pandemic has killed more than 406,500 people worldwide, with more than 7.11 million confirmed cases, while recoveries have surpassed 3.29 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

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Masisi pits Balopi against Magang

6th July 2020

A fascinating battle for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General position and perhaps the succession plan is looming on the horizon as the incumbent Mpho Balopi is set to face Lesang Magang in an intriguing duel. The position of Secretary General has attracted the interest of many democrats, but an interesting battle lies between the two.

The reason is plain and simple; the fallout between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Balopi and the former’s reported affection for Magang. The BDP elective congress has been postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and sources within the party tell this publication that Masisi is endorsing Magang albeit cautions. According to informants, the President wants someone fresh and who has deep understanding of the party and Magang’s hyped 30 years of serving the BDP fits that description.

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Magosi, Gen Masire war over State secrets

6th July 2020
Masire

Directorate of Intelligence Service (DIS) boss Brigadier Peter Magosi is reportedly entangled in yet another feud with one of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s inner circle associates, Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire, for being an ‘enemy’ of State, WeekendPost is reliably informed.

Masisi’s inner-group is said to be riddled by factions and one member, Peter Magosi is described as dead-man walking and unwanted. Reports coming from the State house say that Masisi is in a dilemma as his trusted lieutenants are in an intensive cold war and as such that provides him with contradicting information which might see him firing blanks throughout his mandate. At the heart of the matter is a silent fallout between Magosi and former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Commander Lt General Tebogo Masire.

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BDP puts burden on Khama in P100 billion corruption loot

6th July 2020
Former President: Khama

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Mpho Balopi has hailed the South African independent political analyst Sandile Swana for piling the burden on former President Lt Gen Ian Khama to prove his innocence in the ongoing 100 billion corruption loot.

This comes after a close Khama ally and South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe has been fingered as a co-signatory to at least two bank accounts holding some of the more than P100 billion allegedly stolen from the Botswana government to finance “terrorism.”

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