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Covid-19: Brazil records largest daily increase in deaths


Brazil, on Tuesday, recorded its largest daily increase in deaths related to the novel coronavirus, data by the country’s Health Ministry showed.

The country confirmed 1,262 new virus-related deaths, bringing the total toll to 31,199, according to the latest official figures.

Tuesday’s daily jump was the steepest since the first victim was confirmed on March 17, the data showed, surpassing the record set on May 21 of 1,188 deaths in a day.

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The ministry also reported almost 29,000 new infections for a total of 555,383 cases.

After the United States, Brazil is the country with the highest number of officially recorded infections worldwide.

Brazil’s death toll is in fourth place globally, behind the U.S., Britain and Italy, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

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Seeing as the biggest nation in Latin America is carrying out relatively low levels of testing, the real figure is likely significantly higher.

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There have been at least 29,314 coronavirus deaths so far in the country.

In many cities in Brazil, hospitals have reached capacity.

Authorities have set up makeshift clinics in football stadiums.

Meanwhile, a dispute between President Jair Bolsonaro, several governors and congress has paralysed the country.

Right-wing populist leader, Bolsonaro, sees the COVID-19 lung disease as a “mild flu” and has rejected protective measures.

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But many state leaders have put in place their own restrictions on movement and public life to stem the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, clashes were reported between Bolsonaro supporters, anti-government protesters and the Police in several Brazilian cities.









Madagascar re-imposes lockdown amid surge in coronavirus cases



Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in coronavirus infections.

This is coming two months after the restrictions were eased.

“The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said in a statement.

No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20.

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A strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people.

“Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and 12:00 pm (1000 GMT),” said the statement.

The measures have been taken “because of the spread of the epidemic and the increase of COVID-19 cases,” it added.

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Used to registering dozens of coronavirus cases a day, Madagascar has in recent days seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday.

The latest tally came after 675 people were tested.

Nearly 24,000 tests have so far been conducted on the impoverished island.

By Sunday the country had a cumulative 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian Ocean island on March 20.

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All government meetings will now be held via video conferencing, while court hearings have been suspended.

In April, President Andry Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus.

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COVID-19: Preach message of hope to reduce burden on Nigerians, expert urges clerics



Dr. Abdullahi Shuaib, former Co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in Lagos, has urged religious leaders to prioritize messages of hope in their sermon to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the people.

Shuaib, also the Chief Executive Officer of Jaiz Foundation, made the call on Sunday at a virtual Faith Leaders’ Dialogue Forum organized by Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace in collaboration with Faith for Peace Initiative.

The Newsmen reports that the theme of the dialogue forum is: “Roles of Faith and Inter-Faith Communities in Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery’’.

According to him, there is the need for religious leaders to provide spiritual tonic that will rekindle the hope of their subjects in God, considering the devastating effects of the COVID-19 on the socio-economic activities of the people.

Shuaib urged religious leaders to constantly preach the message of hope to their followers for them to have a strong faith to recover all they had lost.

He lauded the initiative of faith-based organizations in providing palliatives to the less privileged, saying that more would be necessary, after the pandemic but in a more coordinated manner.

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“They need not duplicate their activities but complement one another.

”If one is addressing the economic aspects, others can look at the areas of human and health development,’’ Shuaib said.

He called on religious leaders to see themselves as development partners in the areas of provision of foods to the people, saying many people were starving.

Shuaib also urged the NIREC to see to the establishment of an Inter-Faith COVID-19 Council that would coordinate the responses of the Faith and Inter-Faith communities to the coronavirus crisis in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Apostle Nyeneime Andy, National President, Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), was surprised that some persons were still doubting the existence of the disease in the country.

According to him, the number of such individuals tagging the disease as a scam will have reduced, if the government had carried religious leaders along from the onset, considering their influence and closeness to the people.

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“Government should see religious leaders as partners in fighting the virus because of their influence on people.

”In fact, people would have taken the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 more seriously and the idea of the virus is a scam would be minimal if some religious leaders have been part of the task force,’’ Nyeneime said.

On her part, Hajia Halimah Jibri, National Amirah, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), said the COVID-19 had made the citizens be vulnerable and called on religious leaders to use their resources to empower them.

“This is the time to use both Zakaat and Tithe to build individuals and to give hope to the hopeless people,’’ she said.

In his remark, the Executive Secretary, NIREC, Rev. Fr. Cornelius Omonokhua, noted that the COVID-19 had challenged the faith.

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He noted it that it was as a result of this that the council took prayers as essential, as it beat all imaginations how a virus could shut down the entire world.

Rev. Sis. Agatha Chikelue, the Chief host of the program and the Executive Director, Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace, noted that the COVID-19 was not a respecter of color, race, or religion, as it had wreaked havoc on peoples’ livelihood.

Chikelue said there was the need for an interfaith collaboration on how people could bounce back.

Malam Tajudeen Alabede, the Convener of the Dialogue Forum and Director, Faith for Peace Initiative, said the Coronavirus pandemic had brought untold hardship on the masses.

Alabede said that the inter-faith community, being a critical stakeholder, had a role to play in the economic recovery of the people.

Other speakers at the one-day forum called on the inter-faith community to team up and produce policy recommendations to government that would improve the economy after the COVID-19

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Covid-19: Pandemonium as NMA chairman, 64 health workers test positive in Nasarawa



Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association in Nasarawa State, Dr Bulus Peter, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Peter disclosed this in an interview with journalists on Saturday.

He said he was already receiving treatment at an isolated part of his home and was responding to treatment.

He disclosed that the total number of healthcare workers, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Nasarawa are 65 as of July 3.

“It is confirmed by the result from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control that I have contracted COVID-19 but I am now responding to treatment.

“As at July 3, the total number of healthcare workers who tested positive for COVID-19 in Nasarawa are 65 – public health facilities workers 51 and private health workers 14.

“The local government distribution of healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 are Karu – 12, Keffi – 21, Nasarawa Eggon – seven, Lafia – 25. One person has died.”

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