Tag Archives: world

Covid-19: China Reports Zero New Cases for the First Time Since January

China on Saturday reported zero new coronavirus infections for the first time since it started reporting data in January , a day after Communist Party leaders celebrated “ major achievements” in the virus fight .

The virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year , but cases have dwindled dramatically from the peak in mid- February as the country appears to have brought the virus largely under control .

The official death toll in the country of 1 . 4 billion people stands at 4 , 634 , well below the number of fatalities in much smaller countries .

However , doubt has been cast on the reliability of China ’ s numbers and the United States has led the charge in questioning how much information Beijing has shared with the international community.

The milestone comes a day after the opening of China ’ s rubber – stamp parliament , the National People’ s Congress , where Premier Li Keqiang said the country had “ made major strategic achievements in our response to COVID- 19 . ”

However , he warned that the country still faced “ immense ” challenges.

Authorities in Wuhan have come under fire for reprimanding and silencing doctors who first raised the alarm about the virus late last year , and repeated changes to counting methodology have cast further doubt over China ’ s official data.

Beijing has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up , insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and other countries in a timely manner.

Since first emerging in Wuhan the virus has spread across the world , claiming more than 335 , 000 lives globally

Analyst States Reasons Why Foreigners Are Not Ready To Buy Nigerian Stocks

Financial analysts have linked the dwindling inflow of foreign investments in the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) over the past few months to fears by investors of likely poor yield or returns on such investments.

Specifically, they said that as the COVID-19 continued its disruptive impact on businesses globally, foreign investors were not eyeing the bourse for new investments, resisting reduced valuations on some of Nigeria’s biggest companies and also concerned that a shortage of dollars may restrict their ability to realize any profits.

Commenting on the development, Temi Popoola, the Head of Renaissance Capital’s local unit, said: “Foreigners are net sellers and locals are net buyers, as assets look very cheap in naira terms. If you are a foreign investor, you still have the currency risk. It is not clear what direction we are going.”

According to data from the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the Lagos-based platform that oversees foreign-exchange trading, foreign investors’ purchases of Nigerian stocks and bonds dropped to $266 million in March and the first half of April, the lowest since the Investors’ and Exporters’ Foreign Exchange Window was opened in 2017.

Local investors are positioning for dividend payments from Nigerian blue-chip companies, unworried by the paucity of foreign exchange, caused by the crash in crude oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited, said: “We believe the intensified sell-off by foreign investors was due to the elevated global risk aversion for EM/FM assets, triggered by the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Stocks at the exchange have just wrapped up their best week since January, but it’s no thanks to foreign investors. The country’s benchmark index jumped 7.2% last week, closing out a seven-day rally.

The sell off by foreign investors pushed the share prices of major bellwethers to historic lows, providing an attractive entry point.

Also, dollar trading has remained quiet in Nigeria’s interbank foreign exchange market, while foreign exchange reserves have dwindled 12% this year to $33.9 billion.

An analyst at Old Mutual Investment Group in Cape Town, Randolph Oosthuizen, was quoted as saying that the outlook for foreign interest in Nigerian equities would depend partly on how the government sets about to revive the economy from the ravages of the coronavirus.

He stated: “The next few quarters will be very difficult for Nigeria, but we await more granular information on policy responses. New inflows will in large part probably be based on how these are received by the market.”

US Slams WHO Over Covid-19 Failure

The United States on Monday slammed the World Health Organization ’ s “ failure ” to obtain and provide vital information on COVID- 19 that could have reined in the pandemic and saved many lives .

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in a video address to the WHO ’ s main annual meeting: “We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: there was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed , and that failure cost many lives , ”

Azar insisted the WHO had to change and become more transparent , as he backed an independent review of “ every aspect” of the UN health agency ’ s response to the pandemic .

Washington is locked in an increasingly bitter spat with Beijing over the new coronavirus pandemic , while it has also taken aim at the WHO.

The outbreak , which emerged in China late last year, has killed and infected more people in the United States than in any other country by far.

Washington has suspended its funding to the WHO , accusing it of being too close to Beijing , and covering up and mismanaging the pandemic.

“ In an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak , at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations, with tremendous costs for the entire world , ” said Azar.

“ We saw that the WHO failed at its core mission of information sharing and transparency when member states do not act in good faith.

“ This cannot ever happen again . The status quo is intolerable . WHO must change , and it must become far more transparent and far more accountable . ”
Azar said that while countries were focused on the immediate response to the pandemic, they needed a “ more effective WHO right now ” to help win the fight .

China Sacks Man Over New Covid-19 Cases

An official has been relieved from his duty in Wuhan , capital of central China ’ s Hubei Province after the city recently reported six new confirmed COVID- 19 cases.

Local authorities said Zhang Yuxin was removed from his posts for poor management over the closing – off and control of the Sanmin residential community, which is under the jurisdiction of Changqing Street , where Zhang served as secretary and member of the Changqing Street working committee of the Communist Party of China .

Wuhan reported a total of six new confirmed COVID- 19 cases last Saturday and Sunday . All the patients are from the Sanmin residential community.

The community had previously reported 20 confirmed COVID- 19 cases, Xinhua reports .

‘Covid-19 Could Be Sexually Transmitted’ Research Reveals

Chinese researchers who tested sperm of men infected with COVID-19 found that a minority of them had the new coronavirus in their semen, opening up a small chance the disease could be transmitted sexually, scientists said on Thursday.

According to Reuters, a study by doctors at China’s Shangqiu Municipal Hospital of 38 men hospitalised with the disease found that six of them, or 16 per cent, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in their semen.

The researchers said that while the findings were preliminary and based on only a small number of infected men, more research is needed to see whether sexual transmission might play a role in the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

“Further studies are required with respect to the detailed information about virus shedding, survival time and concentration in semen,” the team wrote in a study published in JAMA Network Open.

“If it could be proved that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted sexually … (that) might be a critical part of the prevention,” they said, “especially considering the fact that SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the semen of recovering patients.”

Independent experts said the findings were interesting but should be viewed with caution and in the context of other small studies that have not found the new coronavirus in sperm.

A previous small study of 12 COVID-19 patients in China in February and March found that all of them tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in semen samples.

Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at Britain’s Sheffield University, said the studies should not be seen as conclusive, since there were some technical difficulties in testing semen for viruses. He said the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in sperm did not show whether it is active and capable of causing infection.

“However, we should not be surprised if the virus which causes COVID-19 is found in the semen of some men, since this has been shown with many other viruses such as Ebola and Zika,” he said.

Sheena Lewis, a professor of reproductive medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, stressed that this was a “very small study” and said its findings were in keeping with other small studies showing low or no SARS-CoV-2 in tests of semen samples.
“However, the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproduction are not yet known,” she said.

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