South Africa records first two coronavirus deaths as infections top 1,000

US now has more COVID-19 infections than any other country

Russia orders cafes to close nationwide from Saturday

China closes borders; UK records biggest daily rise in deaths; South Africa enters military-patrolled lockdown as the country recorded first two coronavirus deaths and infections top 1,000.

South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent.

Some 57 million people are to be restricted to their homes during South Africa’s three-week total lockdown which began at midnight.

In Nigeria, the most populous black country, stringent measures have been put in place to control and stop the spread of the virus as many states of the federation closed borders, band public gathering and markets including religion congregations as the confirmed cases rose to 51 on Thursday and one fatality recorded so far. Civil servant have been ordered to stay at home in many states.

High profile individuals close to the Nigerian president, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari are believed to have contacted the pandemic virus as more than eight ministers are reportedly been quarantine but Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been tested negative.

Meanwhile, for the pandemic to have been recorded in Lagos, West  African countries must be up with more stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus for the region not be  the worst hit with many cases and fatalities more than any at the end of the day as Lagos is home to all and beyond counties in west African sub-region.

Elsewhere, American President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping held a phone call, during which Xi warned that the US must take ‘substantive actions’ to improve relations, Chinese state media reported.

After the call Trump tweeted that the conversation was “very good” and that: “China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together.”

Authorities in China will temporarily bar the entry of almost all foreigners and drastically reduce flights to the country as it tries to head off this second wave of infections caused by travellers coming from abroad.

The US has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. Johns Hopkins University suggests the US now has more suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19 than China, with 85,991 reported in the US and 81,872 in China. Italy is third with 80,589.

Russia has ordered the nationwide closure of cafes. Moscow will close cafes, shops, parks and other non-essential services for one week starting Saturday, its mayor said Thursday, in an "unprecedented" move to fight the spread of coronavirus.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a non-working week from March 28 to April 5 to keep Russians at home. But the measures imposed by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin take the president's measures a step further.

In Russia, a total of 840 cases have been recorded nationwide, according to official statistics on Thursday and one fatality in Moscow was recorded.
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe could hit 1.8 million worldwide this year even with swift and stringent measures to stop it, according to a study from Britain’s Imperial College published Thursday.

The global number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has passed 532,000, according to the latest figures on the Johns Hopkins University global dashboard. The latest number of confirmed deaths worldwide was 24,072.

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