JOHANNESBURG:South Africa reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, data released by the health ministry showed.
“As of today, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 15,515 with 1,160 new cases identified in the last 24-hour cycle of testing,” said the ministry statement.
The Western Cape province, popular with tourists, accounted for nearly 60 percent of the national numbers.
The numbers of deaths rose by three to 263 from Saturday.
Africa’s most industrialised economy has the highest numbers of infections in Africa, followed by Egypt which has so far recorded 11,719 Covid-19 cases, including 612 deaths.
Millions of voters in Burundi will go to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president in the first competitive election since a decade-long civil war began in 1993.
Amid concern that authorities are deliberately playing down the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, seven candidates are seeking to replace the incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza, who is being forced to step down by opponents within the country’s ruling CNDD-FDD party.
Rights groups say the government is pressing ahead with the vote irresponsibly, and accuse the CNDD-FDD and its youth wing of crushing dissent and threatening those taking their own measures against coronavirus.
Last week Burundi expelled the World Health Organization’s expert team working on coronavirus. Campaigning politicians have held rallies attended by tens of thousands.
The nation of 11 million people has reported 27 cases of Covid-19 so far but has only carried out about 520 tests in total. Officials have cited divine protection for Burundi’s ostensibly low infection rate and urged citizens to go about their daily lives without fear.
In Australia, more than 150 Australian newsrooms have shut since January 2019 as Covid-19 deepens a media crisis.
The closure of BuzzFeed News in Australia may have grabbed the headlines last week but the digital startup is just one victim on a growing list of media casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Five editorial staff at BuzzFeed have lost their jobs, but across the country hundreds more have been stood down in an already fractured media landscape. It’s unclear how many will ever return to their posts.
( Image:A woman wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, walks past a closed pharmacy following undisclosed positive Covid-19 case in Alberton, east of Johannesburg.)