PROLOGUE: Please realize that you are a pawn and an actor with a prescribed role in a global pandemium, designed to advance Global Governance and to prepare for the next stage of the Orwellian BigBrother-BigSister Games. Adapt, where it is medically necessary for your own and the good of other people next to you, but resist otherwise - wherever you still can. Remove those who abuse the imposed strict measures from office immediately. Know that the right to self-defence overrules any other man-made laws and regulations - even the Medical Martial Law the Powers-That-Never-Should-Be have prepared so neatly over the last ten years with only few objecting. Don't panic, but work hard to put the Jinni back into the bottle and the "leaders" back onto their place to serve rather than to rule!
World closes borders, restricts travel to contain coronavirus spread
By Reuters - 14. March 2020
Countries around the world on Saturday continued to close borders, impose strict entry and quarantine requirements and restrict large gatherings in efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said it will close all its retail stores worldwide, outside Greater China, until March 27. Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday as the spread of the virus on mainland China slowed dramatically.
Countries have shuttered museums, tourist attractions and sporting events to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission, with more than 138,000 people worldwide infected and more than 5,000 dead.
Colombia said it will close its borders with Venezuela and stop visitors who have been in Europe or Asia, while a U.S. ban on entry for most people from continental Europe was due to start midnight Friday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Europe has become the pandemic’s current epicenter after reporting more cases and deaths than the rest of world combined, apart from China where the coronavirus originated last December.
Saudi Arabia will suspend all international flights for two weeks, starting Sunday, state news agency SPA said, Taiwan will require travelers from mainland Europe, Britain and Ireland to self-isolate for 14 days, while New Zealand implemented a similar measure for all those entering the country.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also called on cruise ships, a major source of infections in some countries, not to come to New Zealand until June 30.
“Alongside Israel, and a small number of Pacific Islands who have effectively closed their border, this decision will mean New Zealand will have the widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world,” she said.
The country has just six confirmed cases and has had no deaths, but Ardern said that number inevitably would rise.
“That is why ultimately, we must go hard and we must go early,” she told reporters.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced a ban on public events with more than 500 people on Friday, joining countries such as Australia where the ban will come into force on Monday.
Britain will introduce emergency laws next week to ban mass gatherings, said a government source, an escalation of its crisis plan which critics had said was too relaxed.
The Philippines capital Manila, home to 12 million people, announced nighttime curfews on Saturday and urged shopping malls to close for one month.
“To limit the spread of the virus, we need to limit the movement of people. We are slowing down the movement of people in Metro Manila,” said Jose Arturo Garcia, general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
CHINA NEW INFECTIONS FALLING
While infections continue to climb around the world, in mainland China the number of new cases is falling.
The number of new coronavirus cases imported into mainland China from overseas surpassed the number of locally transmitted new infections for the first time on Friday, data released by the National Health Commission showed on Saturday.
Mainland China had 11 new confirmed cases on Friday, up from eight cases a day earlier, but only four of those - all in the virus epicenter of Hubei province - were locally transmitted.
Hubei has now seen new infections fall for nine straight days. All four of the new cases on Friday, down from five a day earlier, were in provincial capital Wuhan.
The flu-like virus has infected 80,824 people in mainland China, the commission said.
SHOPS, SPORTS, MUSEUMS SHUTTER
In a bid to limit the economic damage from a pandemic that has infected the U.S. House of Representatives passed an aid package that would provide free testing and paid sick leave.
The U.S. military said it will halt most domestic travel, extending earlier restrictions on international travel for its more than a million active-duty troops around the world.
Travel bans have hammered airlines and travel companies worldwide, while financial markets have been hit by panic selling this week.
The impact of the coronavirus on everyday life is also deepening.
The Czech government will shut most shops and restaurants from early Saturday, with exceptions including food stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum and the Moulin Rouge cabaret closed their doors. The Smithsonian museums in Washington were preparing to do so on Saturday and Broadway theaters in New York went dark.
The kissing of the Blarney Stone, one of Ireland’s oldest tourist traditions, was suspended.
The global sporting calendar has also been left in tatters with major tournaments canceled, postponed or forced to continue without spectators.
But sport’s biggest showpiece, the Olympics, will still proceed as planned, according to Tokyo organizers.
Reporting by Praveen Menon in Wellington; Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Tom Daly and Muyu Xu in Beijing; Samar Hassan in Cairo; Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Sarah Kinosian in Caracas; Idrees Ali, David Morgan and Andy Sullivan in Washington; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Richard Pullin
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
GET READY: Ten new predictions covering what will happen in America over the next 12 weeks due to the coronavirus
By Mike Adams - The Health Ranger - 14. March 2020
US adds Ireland and UK to Europe-wide travel ban, comes into effect midnight Monday
The ban was originally put in place for 30 days for the 26 Schengen area countries in Europe.
14. March 2020
Trump reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 Image: Reynolds Stefani/CNP/ABACA
THE US HAS announced that Ireland and the UK is now to be included in the travel ban issued to European countries earlier this week.
The ban was originally put in place for 30 days for the 26 Schengen area countries in Europe but Trump hinted last night that the ban could be extended to other countries as the US deals with the coronavirus outbreak.
US Vice President Mike Pence announced the ban has been extended to Ireland and the UK from Monday, following a meeting of the US coronavirus task force this morning.
He said: “In our taskforce meeting today the president has made a decision to suspend all travel to the UK and Ireland, effective midnight Monday night, eastern standard time.”
Pence said there had been a “unanimous recommendation” from health experts to extend the travel ban.
“Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home, legal residents can come home … they will will be funnelled through specific airports and processed.”
He said that this funnelling of American citizens will happen at 13 airports and passengers will be screened upon arrival.
In an Oval Office address to the nation on Thursday, Trump blamed the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the “foreign virus” and claimed US clusters were “seeded” by European travellers.
On Friday, Trump then declared a national emergency opening up additional disaster relief funds to US states and territories.
There have been 2,345 cases of the virus confirmed in the US – 50 people are also confirmed to have died.
The countries from the Schengen Area to which the ban already applies, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The ban suspends entry into the US for most foreign nationals who have been in these countries at any point during the 14 days prior arrival.
The ban does not apply to US citizens, legal permanent residents and immediate family members of US citizens.
Over the past 24 hours, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has also issued new travel warnings for European countries advising Irish citizens to exercise a ‘high degree of caution’ to every country in Europe.
This morning, that warning was upgraded in six countries where Irish citizens are advised against all non-essential travel.
Those six countries are Poland, Denmark, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Malta, and Cyprus.
In a statement this afternoon, Coveney said the Department of Foreign Affairs will also be providing additional guidance on Spain, which remains at non-essential travel, while Italy remains at no travel.
How one U.S. Congresswoman nails the CDC boss for the benefit of all Americans:
The US representative Katie Porter has secured free coronavirus testing for all Americans after presenting compelling evidence in the US House of Representatives on Thursday. According to her calculations, coronavirus testing would cost a citizen a minimum of $1,331. She pressed a member of the administration to commit to making all testing immediately free and he conceded.
Katie Porter DOMINATES Trump CDC Stooge
Rep. Katie Porter just got all Americans free COVID-19 testing. Cenk Uygur, Jayar Jackson, and Jason Carter, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
It has been all prepared since long:
Medical Martial Law
corbettreport - 13. March 2020
Back in 2009 top scientists were saying that the swine flu outbreak came from a vaccine lab, but you won’t hear that in the controlled corporate media. Nor will you hear about Bilderberg plans to use the pandemic hysteria to flex the muscles of their nascent global government. But you will hear all about it in this week’s episode of The Corbett Report.
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=397
Coronavirus controls increase surveillance 'danger'
By Rina Chandran - 05. March 2020
BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The coronavirus outbreak has enabled authorities from China to Russia to increase surveillance and clamp down on free speech, with the risk that these measures will persist even after the situation eases, digital rights experts said.
COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus which emerged from China late last year, has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide and made about 91,000 unwell.
In response, many countries have tightened border controls and imposed travel bans. Some have stepped up surveillance using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, alarming human rights activists and data privacy experts.
“Governments are legitimising tools of oppression as tools of public health,” said Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia policy director at Access Now, a digital rights non-profit.
“The danger is that these measures stay in place and that data continues to be collected and used. We have seen this happen in the past after major events in China and after 9/11 in the United States,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
China tightened controls during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, while the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks prompted the passage of the Patriot Act that human rights activists say gave authorities more power to step up surveillance for security purposes.
While the use of facial recognition in airports for a specific purpose and time may be justified to contain the coronavirus outbreak, keeping travel records, health records and other data indefinitely is “not legitimate”, Chima said.
Moscow is using facial recognition technology to ensure people ordered to remain at home or in their hotels do so. Russian authorities last month said they would deport 88 foreign nationals for allegedly violating quarantine measures.
Singapore, where an international conference in January led to coronavirus spreading around the world, from Spain to South Korea, is using a process called contact tracing to control infections.
In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this entailed creating a detailed log of a patient’s movements and interactions in the 14 days before admission to hospital, and tracing everyone exposed to the patient.
“Fortunately, COVID-19 patients have generally been cooperative in sharing information. This enables healthcare workers, public officers, and the Singapore Police Force to map out the history and contacts quickly,” Lee said.
Authorities used immigration data to find a permanent resident who had breached quarantine requirements while in Singapore. His status was revoked and he was barred from re-entering Singapore, immigration authorities said last month.
As the coronavirus outbreak is “very serious”, it is vital that governments respond by collecting and analyzing citizens’ data, said Louisa Jorm, director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health in Australia.
“Some temporary invasion of privacy is inevitable if government authorities are to mount an effective public health response,” said Jorm, based at the University of New South Wales, which is not directly involved in the pandemic response.
Some of the greatest fears about high tech social control are in China where people are required to use software on their smartphones that determines whether they should be quarantined or can be allowed into subways and public spaces.
A New York Times analysis found that the system appeared to share people’s locations with the police, in a country which already has the world’s most sophisticated system of electronic surveillance.
AI and security camera companies in China have been touting systems which they say can recognize faces even if people are wearing masks or hats and report them to authorities, while maps can show locations of buildings where infected patients live.
Governments have extraordinary powers during emergencies but “typically with due process checks on the necessity, validity, and proportionality of those powers,” said Sean McDonald of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
U.S. authorities used Uber records to track a suspected coronavirus patient to Mexico, while South Korea used seized mobile phone records to quarantine thousands during an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2015, he said.
“The real risk, in situations like this, is that institutions will develop large surveillance mechanisms that they repurpose for more political or commercial means,” said McDonald, a senior fellow at the Canadian think-tank.
At the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, it has been mandatory since February for staff to submit information including their location and any contact with people from heavily affected areas, said one employee, Liaoyuan Zeng.
The professor also said police had come to his apartment to collect information on the family, including travel history.
“To me, this is a very reasonable data collection activity for safety reasons,” he said.
“Uploading my body temperature, family information, travel history ... is no problem at all, especially when data collection and surveillance is reasonable under this special circumstance,” he said in emailed comments.
Countries need strong data protection laws and independent authorities who can ensure that data are not kept indefinitely or used for political purposes, and few Asian countries have such checks and balances, said Chima.
Asian countries are also using the outbreak to impose stricter information controls, and arresting and punishing people for allegedly spreading false information or criticizing authorities for mishandling the outbreak.
“There’s a danger that when you increase surveillance and information controls, it can undermine the public health system,” said Chima, citing the example of the Chinese doctor who first raised the alarm over the virus, and was reprimanded.
“Surveillance itself can never be a solution,” he said.
Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit https://news.trust.org
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
5+ NWO Agendas Accompanying the Coronavirus Epidemic
By Makia Freeman - 20. February 2020 (Last upated
AT A GLANCE...
- THE STORY:
While the debate continues as to the true count of infected people due to the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, several sinister agendas are being pushed out.
- THE IMPLICATIONS:
Is the coronavirus an opportunity or excuse for the authorities to roll out long-desired schemes of control and manipulation?
Learn the 5+ NWO agendas being pushed.
While the coronavirus epidemic/pandemic continues,
with people debating on both sides whether it is being overplayed or underplayed, it is worthwhile pausing to consider what agendas – and I mean which NWO agendas – are being rolled out using the epidemic as a cover or pretext. As I covered in my last article The Coronavirus 5G Connection and Coverup, with these kind of outbreaks, there is always a dual motivation for authorities: the motivation to hype and the motivation to downplay because both approaches serve the ruling class in different ways. Deception is a hallmark of government (including Chinese government foreknowledge), and clearly all the more so in an emergency, so it is always going to be hard to trust whatever news or stats are coming from official sources. Regardless of the virus’ true origins and virulence, we can say for sure that there are several agendas being pushed as you read these words. It’s the same old Hegelian dialectic strategy of problem-reaction-solution, and whatever the reality is on a microbial level, the world’s population has the perception of a problem, so the ruling class has another opportunity to make their order out of chaos. Below are 5+ NWO agendas being carried out due to the coronavirus epidemic.
1. Centralized Control of Information, i.e. Censorship and Narrative Control
Quite a few of the speakers at the Event 201 simulation (hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center in partnership with World Economic Forum [WEF] and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) spoke of the need for the centralized control of information during a pandemic, including one speaker Lavan Thiru (described as a Monetary Authority of Singapore) who mentioned “a step up from the part of the government on enforcement actions against fake news.” There were some who said Big Tech is a no longer a platform but a broadcaster and must be made to combat fake news. Another speaker in typical fashion demonized conspiracy theories. Here is a quote directly from the simulation/make-believe event (which came true 6 weeks later):
“Disinformation and misinformation are wreaking havoc … pharmaceutical companies are being accused of introducing the … virus so they can make money on drugs and vaccines, and have seen public faith in their products plummet. Unrest due to false rumors and divisive messaging is rising, and is exacerbating spread of the disease as levels of trust fall, and people stop cooperating with response efforts. This is a massive problem, one that threatens governments and trusted institutions.
National governments are considering or have already implemented a range of interventions to combat misinformation. Some governments have taken control of national access to the internet; others are censoring websites and social media content, and a small number have shut down internet access completely to prevent the flow of misinformation. Penalties have been put in place for spreading harmful falsehoods, including arrests.”
The plan is to continue the censorship which Big Tech has been spearheading for years now, using the excuse of harmful “fake news” by claiming that the dissemination of false information during an emergency is a bigger problem than usual and must be stopped. Here are some other quotes from the event:
“I do think that there needs to be sort-of an honest broker, a centralized command-and-control organization that really brings together the public-private sector, both on a global approach and also on a local approach …”
“Yes, I agree, and I wanted to speak to the point about having the honest broker, and I think in this regard the United Nations fits the bill … “
“It’s important that the UN and WHO remain very clear, but when they challenge governments directly, they often get into this issue of sovereignty, and so I think it’s really important not to have that as the only response … it’s really critical to remember soft power influence …”
That last statement reveals yet again a dominant NWO agenda in so many arenas of life: narrative control.
2. The Cashless Agenda
The cashless agenda is a long-term NWO scheme that goes hand in hand with transhumanism, i.e. the digitization of everything in society, including things like money, information and life itself. Power-hungry control freaks – the types of people that gravitate towards government – love the idea of a cashless society because then every single economic transaction can be traced, which allows authorities to build an even more complete picture of who you are so as stop any possible disobedience or revolution before it happens. It also increases governmental revenue via taxation. As this Activist Post article highlights, China has jumped on the opportunity to forward the cashless agenda by claiming that paper money must now be taken out of circulation due to the possibility that it could contain traces of COVID-19 and therefore contribute to the spreading of the coronavirus.
3. Martial Law Quarantines
Governments love martial law scenarios, because normal human rights are suspended. Authoritarian China has been lauded by many globalists such as the late David Rockefeller as a model for the New World Order. Some of the photos and videos coming out of China showing the police state there have been horrific. Another crisis, another opportunity for the government to see how much they can get away with under the banner of fighting the virus.
4. Mandatory Vaccination
The coronavirus epidemic has provided a good excuse for governments round the world to introduce one of their favorite NWO agendas – mandatory vaccination. The reason why this agenda is particularly so well liked is that it allows authorities access to the human body – and not just the citizen’s body, but his or her bloodstream too. truthfully, we have no idea what is in that needle when it gets injected, so all sorts of things could be implanted in our bodies without our knowledge or consent.
Coincidentally (or not), China passed a law on June 29th 2019 that rolled out a national mandatory vaccination program. Coincidentally (or not), the law went into effect on December 1st 2019, just weeks before the coronavirus epidemic became a worldwide news story. Here is the article:
“On June 29, 2019, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted the PRC Law on Vaccine Administration (Vaccine Law). The official Xinhua news agency statesthat the Law provides for the “strictest” vaccine management with tough penalties in order to ensure the country’s vaccine safety … The Law mandates the launching of a national vaccine electronic tracking platform that integrates tracking information throughout the whole process of vaccine production, distribution, and use to ensure all vaccine products can be tracked and verified (art. 10). According to the Law, China is to implement a state immunization program, and residents living within the territory of China are legally obligated to be vaccinated with immunization program vaccines, which are provided by the government free of charge. Local governments and parents or other guardians of children must ensure that children be vaccinated with the immunization program vaccines … The Law will take effect on December 1, 2019.”
I also have to wonder about the implications when we have so-called experts like Ralph Baric who are pointing out that this coronavirus epidemic may include asymptomatic carriers (as in this story of the 10-year-old Chinese boywho had no symptoms but allegedly tested positive for COVID-19). This may be helpful information, but it also adds fuel to the mandatory vaccine fire so to speak, because then the authorities claim that they have to vaccinate everyone to protect society due to all these possible hidden asymptomatic carriers that could pop up and infect everyone. By extension, mandatory vaccination may also include DNA vaccines and microchipping (see next).
5. Bill Gates’ ID2020: Digital Identification via Microchipping
As David Icke says, if Bill Gates is involved in it, it’s bad for humanity. NWO point-man Gates has been heavily pushing GMOs and vaccines for years (including slipping up and admitting that vaccines contribute to population control); he was part of Event 201 that simulated the coronavirus epidemic before it happened; he “didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with” Jeffrey Epstein; so now we have to ask how else this sold-out NWO frontman is benefiting from the virus. Turns out the answer may be found in yet another globalist project Gates has been promoting: ID 2020. This is the human microchipping agenda, repackaged. It sells itself as “a trusted and reliable way” to fulfill a “fundamental and universal human right” – safeguarding your identity both online and in the physical world. This articlereports:
“The ID2020 Alliance, as it’s being called, is a digital identity program that aims to “leverage immunization” as a means of inserting tiny microchips into people’s bodies. In collaboration with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, also known as GAVI, the government of Bangladesh and various other “partners in government, academia, and humanitarian relief,” the ID2020 Alliance … wants all humans to be “vaccinated” with digital tracking chips that will create a seamless monitoring system for the New World Order to manage the populations of the world with ease.“
“While the ID2020 program’s testing grounds are primarily in the Third World, the group says it’s also now working with governments here in the United States to start microchipping people through vaccination. In Austin, Texas, for example, the homeless population is now being exploited as a collective guinea pig for ID2020’s microchip vaccination program, which the group claims will help to “empower” homeless people by supposedly giving them “control” over their personal identity data. “The City of Austin, ID2020, and several other partners are working together with homeless people and the service providers who engage with them to develop a blockchain-enabled digital identity platform called MyPass to empower homeless people with their own identity data,” writes Chris Burt for BiometricUpdate.com. ID2020 is also jabbing refugees with its microchip vaccinations through two inaugural pilot programs known as iRespond and Everest.”
Since Gates was obviously intimately involved in planning this outbreak and ensuring his companies have the patents and vaccines for the newly released virus, is he also planning on using the coronavirus epidemic to further promote ID2020?
6. Agenda 2030: Wuhan Slated to be one of China’s Smart Cities
A massive agenda involved in the coronavirus epidemic is the agenda of all agenda – UN Agenda 2030, which involves Smart Cities. Guess what? Before the outbreak China had already planned which of its cities were going to be the ones slated to become the pilot Smart Cities. Wuhan was one of them (which makes sense why it was also the site of China’s 5G rollout as covered in my previous article). See here:
“Wuhan Future City, located in eastern East Lake High-Tech Development Zone, is one of the four concentrated talent bases for major State-owned enterprises and the only “future science and technology town” approved by the State Council for central and western regions.”
7. Is the Coronavirus Epidemic a Race-Based Bioweapon?
I don’t know if I would exactly classify this as a NWO agenda, but a race-based bioweapon is certainly a likely possibility here. Consider that virtually all known deaths from the coronavirus epidemic thus far have been in China. Only around 4 deaths outside of China have been reported – 1 in the Philippines on February 1st, 1 in Japan on February 13th and 2 in Iran on February 20th. Lance Walton (VDare.com) has written several articles asking why no one is talking about it. He points out how WHO (World Health Organization) Director-General Tedros Ahanom Ghebreyesus declared that he opposed travel bans. ZeroHedge.com quoted him as saying that “We reiterate our call to all countries not to impose restrictions that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.” If the virus doesn’t discriminate based on race, and just weakens or kills anyone, then the public health benefits of banning people would be great. However, if the virus does indeed discriminate on race, and only targets East Asians, then the WHO head’s comments make sense. This raises yet more questions: if the COVID-19 is a race-based bioweapon, who created it? The US? Israel? How did they sneak it into China and release it?
Conclusion: Coronavirus Epidemic Being Used to Push NWO Agendas
Interestingly, the opening ceremony of the Wuhan Military Games declared a “New World” (see image of a screenshot from the opening ceremony) which suggests the phrase New World Order and also suggests societal transformation – yet another clue that this entire event was pre-planned. Whatever the truth turns out to be about the origin of the virus itself, who created it, how it was released and whether it is really as dangerous as is hyped, there can be no doubt that the entire coronavirus epidemic phenomenon is being used to accelerate several NWO agendas in typical problem-reaction-solution style.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com. Makia is on Steemit and FB.is the editor of The Freedom Articles, a long-time truth researcher and a promoter of freedom. He provides insightful, non-partisan, unique and cutting-edge analysis on who's running the world, how they're doing it and what the deeper agenda is – as well as solutions for restoring peace and freedom to the world. He writes articles exposing propaganda and the numerous aspects of the worldwide conspiracy, in addition to geopolitics, sovereignty, health and higher consciousness. His articles are regularly syndicated and featured on sites such as David Icke, Wake Up World, Activist Post, Waking Times, Global Research, The Sleuth Journal and many more.
Kenya, Ethiopia join expanding list of African states with coronavirus
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Guinea all confirmed their first cases of the new coronavirus on Friday, giving the disease a foothold in 18 countries on the African continent.
Kenyan health workers dressed in protective suits walk after disinfecting the residence where Kenya's first confirmed coronavirus patient was staying, in the town of Rongai near Nairobi, Kenya March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Africa had until now largely been spared the rapid spread of COVID-19, which has infected at least 135,000 people and killed around 5,000 worldwide.
Most of Africa’s reported cases were foreigners or people who had traveled abroad. Rapid testing and quarantines have been put in place to limit transmission.
But concerns are growing about the continent’s ability to handle the disease.
Cases have been reported in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Mauritania’s health ministry said late on Friday that its first coronavirus patient is a European man - nationality not specified - who had returned to Nouakchott on March 9 and had since been in quarantine.
The numbers of cases in most of the countries are still in single figures.
Senegal confirmed 11 new cases on Friday, raising the total in that West African nation to 21. Its health ministry said 16 had been infected by the same man who had returned from Italy.
Among those confirming first cases on Friday, Kenya is the richest economy in East Africa and a hub for global companies and the United Nations, while Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous nation, with 109 million people. Addis Ababa and Nairobi are regional transit hubs.
In Nairobi, the Kenyan authorities banned all major public events and said they would restrict foreign travel. The mayor of Addis Ababa urged citizens to avoid close personal contact but Ethiopia’s health minister said there were no plans to cancel flights.
TRAVELLERS FALL SICK
Kenyan Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said the country’s first case, a 27-year-old Kenyan, was diagnosed on Thursday after traveling home via London on March 5.
He said the government had traced most of the people she had been in contact with, including fellow passengers on her flight, and a government response team would monitor their temperatures for the next two weeks.
The Ethiopian case was a 48-year old Japanese national who arrived in Ethiopia on March 4, the health ministry said.
Guinea’s first case was an employee of the European Union delegation who had self-isolated after she felt ill upon returning from Europe, the EU delegation said.
Sudan’s first confirmed coronavirus case was a man who died on Thursday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the Health Ministry said. He had visited the United Arab Emirates in the first week of March.
HALTING THE SPREAD
Kenyan Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said the government had suspended all public gatherings, sporting events, open-air religious meetings and events “of a huge public nature”. Schools will remain open but inter-school events were suspended.
Public transport operators must install hand sanitizers in their vehicles and clean them regularly, Kagwe said, while foreign travel would be restricted.
Soon after the announcement, shoppers in one Nairobi supermarket were buying up cart loads of staples such as maize flour and water, as well as hand sanitizers and soap.
Kenya Airways suspended flights to China last month and on Thursday added Rome and Geneva to the list of suspended destinations.
Kenya, which relies heavily on Asian imports, has seen disruptions to its supply chain and a decline in tourism, an important source of hard currency and jobs.
“We are going to be hit badly,” Tourism Minister Najib Balala told journalists.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange halted trading in the afternoon after the main NSE 20 share index dropped by more than 5% following the news.
Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of East Africa whose economy depends on tourism and financial services, has yet to report any COVID-19 cases but said it was offering liquidity to banks to support struggling firms hit by the impact of the virus and cutting banks’ cash reserve requirements.
Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld, Humphrey Malalo, Dawit Endeshaw and Giulia Paravicini; Editing by Katharine Houreld, Nick Tattersall, Philippa Fletcher and Daniel Wallis
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Black people worldwide on some "andizi, give me zero mam" - we not playing those #CoronavirusPandemic games
By Geoffrey York - 11.
A man washes his hands at a public hand washing station as a cautionary measure against the coronavirus in Kigali, Rwanda. March 11, 2020. MARGARET ANDRESEN/Reuters
Six years after an Ebola outbreak led to travel restrictions for many West Africans, the coronavirus pandemic has reversed the situation: A growing number of African countries are imposing restrictions on visits by Europeans.
The Ebola epidemic in 2014 led to flight shutdowns, visa bans and quarantine regimes that affected thousands of travellers from the three West African countries at the heart of the outbreak. Today the coronavirus crisis is leading to similar restrictions for many Western visitors to Africa – and a similar rise in fear and suspicion of foreigners, but with the stigma now often targeted at Europeans.
In almost all of the dozen African countries where cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far, the cases were imported by travellers who had been in Italy, France, Germany or other European countries.
South Africa announced six new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 13. Twelve of the 13 had been travelling in Europe, and the other was married to one of the travellers.
In total, 121 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the African continent so far – a relatively small number, for reasons that aren’t yet fully understood. Despite the vulnerabilities of fragile health systems on the continent, most countries in Africa now have laboratories available to test any suspected cases.
Uganda became the latest country to impose new restrictions on Wednesday when it announced that visitors from 16 countries – including 11 European countries and the United States – would be requested to postpone their travel to Uganda. If they insisted on visiting, people from these countries would be required to quarantine themselves for two weeks, the Ugandan Health Ministry said.
“This means one will stay at his/her home, hotel room or any identified accommodation without mixing with family members or the general public for a period of 14 days,” Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said in the announcement.
She said her ministry is also considering a plan to spray a disinfectant on all travellers, from head to foot, as they disembark from their aircraft on arrival in Uganda.
Earlier this week, Uganda deported 22 visitors, mostly tourists who had flown into the country. They were from countries where the coronavirus is spreading, and they refused to go into self-quarantine, officials said, without identifying the countries.
Similar restrictions have been announced by many other African countries. Last week, Kenya suspended direct flights from Italy to its coastal resort areas, popular among Italian tourists. Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island region of Tanzania, has imposed a temporary ban on all flights from Italy.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, meanwhile, announced a 14-day self-quarantine rule for all visitors from Italy, France, Germany and China.
On social media in countries such as Senegal where the virus has recently arrived, many Africans have been voicing their anger at Europeans, blaming them for importing the virus. Some commentators have portrayed it as a continuation of historic victimization of Africa by its former colonizers.
The largest number of African cases has been reported in Egypt, with 67 so far. The first case in Egypt was a visitor from China, but a later outbreak hit a Nile River tourist cruise ship. Egyptian officials have suggested that the cruise-ship outbreak had originated with a tourist from Taiwan, but the Taiwan government said this week that a DNA sequencing of the virus strain in her blood had ruled out this claim, leaving the origin unsolved.
There have been fears that the coronavirus could spread more easily in Africa because of the weak health-care systems in many countries and because of widespread pre-existing health problems such as malaria and HIV. But experts have also suggested that Africa could be more resilient because of its relatively young population, compared with European and Asian countries.
Many African countries also have another advantage: lengthy experience with Ebola-related issues, which has created a formal infrastructure to monitor the health of visitors at airports and borders. Temperatures are routinely checked at many African airports to see whether arriving passengers have any signs of fever.
David Hornsby, a Carleton University professor and expert on Canada-Africa relations, said he was impressed by Uganda’s system of health checks for arriving passengers at Entebbe airport, the country’s main international airport.
Mr. Hornsby, who arrived in Uganda on Sunday, said the passengers were greeted by health officials in medical scrubs and face masks who took their temperatures, directed them to use a hand-sanitizing liquid on their hands and face and required them to fill out a health questionnaire. They also had disinfectant spray bottles available in case of necessity.
The health checks in Uganda were much more extensive than what he has witnessed at Canadian and U.S. airports, Mr. Hornsby said.
“It was seriously impressive when one considers the challenges of access to viable public medicine in these spaces,” he said.