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Live Reporting

By Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Uganda students produce hands-free washing aid

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Video content

    Video caption: Uganda students produce hands-free washing aid

    Students at the Islamic University in Uganda have developed a hands-free hand-washer to promote safe hygiene and save water during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The two students, Lucky Mwaka and Mansoor Muhammad, work at the university’s research and innovations laboratory.

    Their idea is aimed at using technology to minimise contact with potentially contaminated surfaces in low-income settings.

    “We thought of a way to draw water without having to open and close the taps. This is for people who use soap and water separately or those who do prior mixing of the disinfectant with water," Umar Yahya, their lecturer and team leader, told the BBC.

    "This can be fitted on any water container; a jerrycan, tank or tin, depending on what one can afford.”

    The invention works using sensors and a solar battery-powered controller.

    Mr Mwaka explains: “Water is dispensed when hands are in close proximity with the tap, and closed when hands are moved away. So in cases where water is scarce, you use exactly what you need to wash your hands. The hands-free washer is made from a plastic bottle, and so is the tap.”

    The device, which costs about $24 (£19.50) to produce, is so far being used at the university campus in Kibuli, Kampala, and the team is in the process of producing six more, which will be used at their countryside campuses.

  2. BreakingKenya bans travel in and out of capital

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that all travel in and out of the capital, Nairobi, will be banned for the next three weeks, starting at 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Monday as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    A ban on travel in and out of the coastal city of Mombasa and the nearby areas of Kilifi and Kwale will come into force on Wednesday.

  3. Kenyans in mandatory quarantine speak out

    Kenyans who are in government designated mandatory quarantine sites have described how they are coping with life in isolation

    Some, who are housed in government-owned schools and colleges, have told local broadcasters that the crowding and sharing of washrooms and bathrooms is exposing them to the risk of contracting coronavirus.

    The government placed all people who had arrived in the country during the last few days before international flights were stopped in mandatory quarantine at their cost.

    Kenya's NTV channel shared a video recorded at one school quarantine site in the capital, Nairobi;

    View more on youtube

    Those in private hotels are protesting about the announcement from the ministry of health that some will stay in quarantine for another 14 days for violating guidelines on social distancing.

    Over the weekend, the ministry of health said some of those in quarantine were partying as opposed to maintaining social distancing and would remain there for two further weeks.

    A traveller who arrived from Canada is seen in this video questioning why she should stay in the hotel for another two-weeks;

    View more on youtube
  4. Weddings not allowed in South Africa, police say

    Warning comes after a wedding couple were arrested

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Policemen on horses
    Image caption: South Africa is imposing a strict lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus

    A bridal couple, their party and all their wedding guests were arrested in South Africa for taking part in a wedding against government regulations, which have banned large gatherings in efforts to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

    Police officers and the military stopped the wedding and arrested 53 people in eNseleni, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, at the weekend.

    The arrests came after a whistle-blower reportedly called the police about the wedding.

    In a video that has been widely shared on social media, the bride is seen in a white ball grown being led to a police van, the groom in a blue suit, holding the hem of the dress – helps her into the car.

    He then also gets into the police van - while other police vehicles take the arrested wedding guests to the police station.

    The people were arrested for violating the Disaster Management Act. Under the lockdown regulations no weddings are allowed and funerals must follow strict rules too.

    “Weddings are not allowed at all, the number of guests didn’t matter. It’s only in funerals that the mourners are limited to 50. No other gatherings are allowed,” national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told the BBC.

    Police say they have been receiving tip-offs from people about illegal gatherings including church services.

    This is the second couple to be arrested on their wedding day.

    Last week, police swooped in on newly weds in Nkandla before the wedding feast. There the police ended the celebrations, arrested the couple, and dispersed hundreds of guests who were part of the festivities. The couple appeared in the Nkandla Magistrate’s Court and are out on bail.

    South Africa has the highest confirmed infections in Africa, currently at more than 1,600.

  5. Ivory Coast protesters target coronavirus testing centre

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Protesters in Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan, have destroyed a coronavirus centre that was being built in the district of Yopougon.

    Residents said it was being built in a crowded residential area, too close to their homes.

    Videos on social media show people tearing apart the centre with their bare hands, smashing construction materials on the ground.

    Some appeared to be hurling metal poles into a truck.

    View more on youtube

    The health ministry said the building was never intended as a treatment centre, only as a testing facility.

    Although, like much of Africa, Ivory Coast has had relatively few confirmed coronavirus cases, it has imposed a lockdown in Abidjan and a nationwide curfew.

    On Saturday, health officials urged people to wear masks to try to slow the spread of the virus.

    The hostile response towards the testing centres is reminiscent of attitudes during Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa when some people attacked health workers, suspicious that they were bringing the disease to their communities, rather than offering crucial medical care.

  6. Ghana to supply free water to help combat coronavirus

    Thomas Naadi

    BBC News, Accra

    Police officers apply hand sanitiser after interacting with motorists at a checkpoint in Tema
    Image caption: Police in Ghana have been enforcing a lockdown in three major cities

    Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that his government will pay peoples' water bills for the next three months as the country tries to combat the spread of coronavirus.

    Washing hands with soap and water is considered one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of the virus.

    There have been 214 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country and five deaths.

    Last week, Ghana started a two-week lockdown in three cities - Accra, Tema and Kumasi - that were identified as hotspots for the spread of the virus.

    In a televised address, President Akufo-Addo said the government has urged the utility companies to ensure a consistent supply of water and electricity and restore any disconnected accounts.

    Water-supply tankers will also be made available to provide water to vulnerable communities.

    Meanwhile, health workers treating patients with Covid-19 will receive a boost to their basic pay and all health workers will also be granted a three-month tax holiday.

  7. Rwanda ministers donate salaries to Covid-19 fight

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Police officers patrol at an empty street in Kigali
    Image caption: Rwanda is under lockdown and is distributing food to its poor citizens

    Rwanda's cabinet ministers and top officials will donate their April salaries to the fight against the coronavirus epidemic

    A statement from the prime minister's office said other officials who will give up their salaries are leaders of national institutions and top government officials.

    The East African nation has so far recorded 104 Covid-19 cases.

    The government has started distributing food to citizens who had been relying on receiving pay every day. They have been affected by rigid restrictions imposed during a lockdown that is due to end on 19 April.

    Some concerns have been raised about the food distribution programme, with some citizens saying that they were given too little to last them a day, while some officials have been jailed for theft.

    Last week, the International Monetary Fund approved a $109m (£89m) loan to Rwanda to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.

  8. Nigeria actress arrested after house party

    Chi Chi Izundu

    BBC News, Lagos

    Funke Akindele
    Image caption: Funke Akindele is one of Nigeria's best known actresses

    Prominent Nigerian actress Funke Akindele has been arrested in the country's commercial capital, Lagos, for violating the government’s measures intended to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    The police in Lagos confirmed that the 42-year-old had held a birthday party at her house over the weekend.

    Akindele was one of the stars used in a video by Dettol and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to help educate the public on preventative measures against coronavirus, including social distancing.

    But over the weekend the actress was heavily criticised after a video of a house party she had thrown with her husband, producer JJC Skillz, went viral.

    It is not clear how many people attended the event, but the police said they arrested her and had intensified “efforts to arrest the remaining persons in the video”.

    They have urged her husband, as well as singer Naira Marley, to report to the police today or "risk being declared wanted".

    Akindele has since posted an apology on her Instagram account and said did "not intentionally mislead people”.

    She said that some cast and crew were caught up in the lockdown and stayed on her estate.

    She added that she supports the government in creating more awareness to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a statement online, Dettol said although Akindele was not an ambassador for the NCDC, it was concerned about the event and did not condone any breach of guidelines on Covid-19..

    View more on instagram
  9. Honeymooners stranded on the Maldives over coronavirus

    BBC World Service

    A beach in Maldives
    Image caption: The Maldives' sandy beaches are a draw for tourists

    A South African couple on honeymoon have been left stranded on an island in the Maldives, after the coronavirus outbreak prevented them from returning home.

    Olivia and Raul De Freitas are now the only guests remaining at their five-star island resort in the Indian Ocean and they are worried they will be bankrupted if the lockdown in their home country continues for much longer.

    Ms De Freitas told the New York Times everyone thought they wanted to be stuck on a tropical island, until it actually happend.

    The couple are being waited on by the resort's entire staff, who are unable to leave until they do.

  10. Burundi football forbids group goal celebrations

    Burundi's football federation has said it is going to carry on with the league after consulting the country's health minister regarding the coronavirus outbreak, but has introduced a number of measures to try and keep the players safe.

    They have been told that they cannot celebrate in groups if one of them scores a goal. They have also been instructed to wash their hands before a match and not to shake hands with the referee or other players.

    There are only three rounds of games remaining in the current season in Burundi, where three people in Burundi have tested positive for coronavirus.

    As well as Burundi, football continues to be played in Belarus, Nicaragua and Tajikistan, Reuters reports.

  11. Kenyans debate coronavirus lockdown

    A man closes a shop before curfew time
    Image caption: The government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on 27 March

    A recent study conducted in Kenya has found that a majority of people in the country want a total lockdown enforced to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    The study, as reported by local media, suggests that 68% of Kenyans polled said a total lockdown was the best way to contain the virus.

    The government introduced a dusk-to-dawn curfew on 27 March, but not the more strongent lockdown measures that South Africa has introduced for example.

    Some 831 people from 24 out of 47 counties in Kenya were polled between 30 March and 2 April by market research company Infotrak.

    Most of those who supported a total lockdown were from rural Kenya, with retired people and those in formal employment leading the pack.

    A majority of those polled want the government to concentrate on stopping the spread of the virus and food security while some said the the virus threat was being exaggerated.

    The poll has been dismissed by some Kenyans online who argue that the respondents were well-off people who could survive in a lockdown situation.

    "Seven in 10 Kenyans know damn well it's possible to die of hunger while waiting for govt relief. We can't afford a lockdown," George Mbuchi tweeted.

    "Which Kenyans are these that desperately want a lockdown? Those in Rongai, Ruiru or Runda? I still believe that lockdown is not the solution. We need to have a strategic plan that won’t hurt the have-nots in this country," Ahmed Mohammed tweeted.

  12. Nigeria denies virus test kits from China are contaminated

    Chi Chi Izundu

    BBC News, Lagos

    A woman has her temperature checked in Abuja, Nigeria
    Image caption: Nigeria has received medical kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Chinese government

    Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has dismissed claims that medical kits from China are contaminated with coronavirus.

    In a tweet, the centre said there was no evidence of Covid-19 contamination and the kits were effective when safely used by health workers.

    View more on twitter

    The minister for information had last week also dismissed claims that medical kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Chinese government are infected.

    The country reported eight new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total to 232.

    NCDC said 33 people had so far been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment.


  13. SA bridal couple arrested for breaching lockdown

    Police in South Africa have arrested a bride and groom, a priest, and 40 guests who defied the rules of the country's strict coronavirus lockdown to hold a wedding in KwaZulu Natal province.

    South African broadcaster eNCA aired a video footage showing the bride-to-be in the back of a police car wearing her wedding dress complete with train.

    View more on youtube

    The whole group was taken to a police station near Richards Bay. They are to be charged in court on Monday.

    South Africa, which has 1,655 confirmed cases of coronavirus including 11 deaths, is now in the second week of one of the world's strictest lockdowns.

    View more on twitter

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  14. Uganda's Besigye protests against 'slur' on food rations

    Ugandan opposition figure Kizza Besigye has protested against the labelling of food rations being distributed by government as intended "for vulnerable poor" saying that it "casts a slur upon recipients".

    The government started distributing relief food on Saturday to households whose incomes have been affected by the ongoing lockdown.

    It is targeting 1.5 million people who will each receive 6kg (12lb) of maize flour, 3kg of beans and some salt.

    Breastfeeding women and the sick will each also be given 2kg of powdered milk and 2kg of sugar.

    Mr Besigye said the government was doing the right thing by giving relief food during the lockdown, but that the food should not be labelled "for vulnerable poor" as it was bought with tax payers' money.

    Mr Besigye tweeted that the food was not a "charitable donation":

    View more on twitter

    Uganda has confirmed 52 cases of Covid-19.

  15. Nigerian medics angry with plan to invite Chinese doctors

    BBC World Service

    Women look through a gate while waiting to receive food support following a 14-day lockdown in Abuja
    Image caption: Three major states in the country are on a 14-day lockdown

    Nigeria’s doctors' association has criticised a government plan to bring 18 Chinese doctors into the country to help fight the coronavirus.

    The Nigerian Medical Association said it would be better to make use of the many unemployed or under-employed medical personnel already in the country.

    It also said the Chinese doctors would not be familiar with the culture or challenges of working in Nigeria.

    On Saturday, the government said the doctors had been invited to share their experience on how the pandemic had been handled in China and denied that they were coming to take charge of the fight against the virus.


  16. Libya's former prime minister dies from coronavirus

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Former interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril
    Image caption: Mr Jebril spent much of his time between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates

    Libya’s former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jebril has died from the coronavirus, according to his political party.

    The 67-year-old contracted the virus in Egypt in late March and died at a hospital in Cairo, according to his aide.

    He was in power as head of the National Transitional Council during months of civil war in 2011 which led to the ousting of former long-time ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

    Libya’s internationally recognised government in Tripoli offered its condolences in a statement that described Mr Jebril as a “national figure”.

    Reputed to be an astute technocrat by those who knew him and worked with him, he was Libya’s transitional prime minister for just seven months, and later formed his own political bloc known as the National Forces' Alliance.

    As a politician, Mr Jebril was seen by his supporters as a potential force for transforming the country.

    But he was sidelined from political office by election laws that banned officials who had served in the transitional period from taking part in the country’s first parliamentary elections in 2012.

    His party won a majority of seats in parliament.

    In Col Gaddafi’s time, Mr Jebril was head of the National Economic Development Board, a position he said he had been forced to take up.

    As Libya’s civil conflict spiralled over the years, and political and militia rivalry dominated the scene, Mr Jebril spent much of his time between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

    He maintained close ties with UN mission heads and other diplomatic figures and took part in some of the peace talks facilitated by the international community.


  17. Ethiopia announces its first coronavirus deaths

    Ethiopia Health Minister Lia Tadesse
    Image caption: Health Minister Lia Tadesse said the two victims had been in the intensive care unit

    Ethiopia's ministry of health on Sunday announced the country's first deaths as a result of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.

    The two deaths were announced one hour apart by Health Minister Lia Tadesse.

    Dr Lia said the first victim, a 60-year-old woman, had been admitted at an intensive care unit (ICU) at Eka Kotebe hospital for five days before she died.

    The second victim, a 56-year-old Ethiopian man, had been in ICU for three days.

    Ethiopia currently has 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and recorded two deaths.

    Ethiopia confirmed its first case on 12 March. It has since closed all land borders, ordered most government employees to work from home and released about 4,000 prisoners as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.

    More about coronavirus:

  18. Monday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The monkey said: 'It is God who gives us beauty, but how we act is up to us'." from An Oromo proverb sent by Diid Tadi Jarso and Yohannes Bedada, both from Ethiopia.
    An Oromo proverb sent by Diid Tadi Jarso and Yohannes Bedada, both from Ethiopia.
    An illustration of honey jar

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.