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Live Reporting

Evelyne Musambi and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Botswana quarantines all MPs amid Covid-19 fears

    A Military Police officer gestures while checking the travel permits of motorists in Gaborone, Botswana
    Image caption: Botswana is on a 28-day lockdown

    Botswana's 57 MPs will be put in mandatory quarantine for 14 days after a parliamentary nurse tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.

    The order to quarantine the lawmakers was made by Director of Health Services Malaki Tshipayagae, according to a tweet from the government.

    View more on twitter

    The country's on Thursday confirmed seven new coronavirus cases, including a health worker who was on duty during parliament's session on Wednesday.

    President Mokgweetsi Masisi also attended the session in which lawmakers debated on extending the state of emergency to to six months.

    The president recently concluded his 14 days in quarantine after he returned from Namibia in March.

    Botswana now has a total of 13 confirmed coronavirus cases.

    The country is on a 28-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

  2. Dos Santos hacker released from prison

    Rui Pinto
    Image caption: Rui Pinto has been in prison awaiting trial on computer fraud charges

    The Portuguese hacker who was the source for the Luanda Leaks revelations has been transferred to house arrest after leaving the prison in Lisbon where he's been held for more than a year.

    Rui Pinto leaked documents which revealed how Africa's richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, made her fortune.

    The documents show how the daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and her husband were allowed to buy valuable state assets in a series of suspicious deals and build a $2bn (£1.6bn) fortune.

    Ms Dos Santos denies the allegations, and has called them a politically motivated witch hunt.

    The revelation triggered a major criminal investigation in Angola.

    Mr Pinto has been in prison awaiting trial on a different count - relating to the football world.

    He founded the Football Leaks website to uncover alleged corruption in the sport and provided millions of documents to the media.

    He faces 90 criminal charges including computer fraud and attempted extortion.

    But his lawyers argue that information he released has helped in the fight against serious economic crimes.

    Read More:

  3. Mother who gave birth in isolation ward still hasn't met baby

    Chi Chi Izundu

    BBC News, Lagos

    Doctors in protective equipment holding baby
    Image caption: The doctors made sure they wore protective equipment

    A Cameroonian mother who gave birth after testing positive for coronavirus says she is yet to meet her daughter.

    Marie Youri said after her daughter, Foraya, was born, doctors told her she couldn’t see her.

    Doctors confirmed to the BBC that they rushed the child to the neonatal ward to avoid her catching the coronavirus.

    Miss Youri said medical staff had reassured her; “I felt very alone. I was really surprised and I was crying. The doctors supported me, they told me it would be all right.”

    The 19-year-old is said to be doing well with oxygen treatment in an isolation ward in Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé and will be tested again in 10 days time to see if she is positive or negative for the virus.

    The baby was born prematurely weighing 2.1kg (4.6lb) and is in the neonatal unit.

    Dr Kemme Kemme Marileine, who was part of the team who helped deliver Foraya, said that the baby is doing very well and has not displayed any coronavirus symptoms.

    “It’s true that we did a further investigation to find out if there is a chance that the virus could have entered the baby, but based on the literature there is no mother-to-child infection.

    “Nowadays the baby is fine. She’s added 2kg and is a healthy baby even though she was born earlier than the term. But she’s very fine. So, no temperature, no signs that could mean its Covid-19 infection.”

    Dr Marileine also said that even though Marie was in her own isolation room, the birth was “one of the scariest things” she’d encountered since the pandemic outbreak.

    “Because I was thinking about that young lady, I was thinking about her having her very first pregnancy, and I was like I want this baby to be alive, so I was very, very emotional with that special case.

    “I was very happy that everything went very good. That was a big responsibility and a big challenge for me to manage the situation to make sure everything is ok. Our big, big fear was to lose the baby, so it was a very, very big challenge for us.”

    The West African country has confirmed 677 coronavirus cases and nine deaths to date.

  4. Malawi VP urges president to move back to capital

    Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima
    Image caption: Saulos Chilima continues to hold his position after judges annulled last year's presidential election

    Malawi's Vice-President Saulos Chilima has urged President Peter Mutharika to move back the capital, Lilongwe, as opposed to the commercial city of Blantyre to reduce costs.

    Mr Chilima said the money used by cabinet ministers and the president's staff to pay for hotels should be redirected to the fight against coronavirus.

    He also proposed that five state lodges, which are the president's official residents spread across the country, be turned into isolation centres.

    Relations between President Mutharika and the vice-president soured after an alliance of their parties collapsed last year in the run up to the general elections.

    The vice-president challenged President Mutharika in the presidential election and finished third. But the vote was annulled by a court in February this year, citing irregularities, and a new election ordered. The court allowed Mr Chilima to retain his vice-president position until the election is held.

    Mr Chilima's United Transformation Movement (UTM) has since formed an alliance with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ahead of the repeat election.

    On Wednesday, he told a media briefing that he would donate his entire salary to the fight against the virus and termed the president's 10% wage cut as "insignificant".

    "I sincerely request the president and cabinet members to at least donate 50% of their salaries and fuel allocations to go toward the Covid-19 response," he said.

    Malawi reported its first coronavirus on 2 April - one of the last countries to do so. It has confirmed eight cases so far.

    The country, among the world's poorest, has declared a state of emergency.

    All social gatherings of more than 100 people, such as funerals, church services and political rallies, have been banned.


  5. World Bank warns on sub-Saharan Africa recession

    Anne Soy

    BBC News, Nairobi

    A worker produces face masks in Kitui, Kenya
    Image caption: World Bank says the pandemic is a major disruption to trade in Africa

    The World Bank is projecting that sub-Saharan Africa will go into recession for the first time in a quarter a century as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts economies.

    The global financial institution says the region’s economy could contract by -2.1% to as much as -5.1% this year.

    The outbreak has spread to 52 countries on the continent that have cumulatively reported 10,250 confirmed cases and 492 deaths.

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are calling for a ‘debt standstill’ from creditors to free up money to go into saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

    Africa was among the last to be hit by Covid-19, and the response from most countries was swift and hard - border closures, lockdowns and the quarantine of travellers.

    The immediate result was a major disruption to trade. The World Bank says reduced access to agricultural inputs, disruption of supply chains and loss of livelihoods could lead to a food shortage.

    Africa’s biggest economies are worst hit - Nigeria and Angola by the collapse of oil prices, and South Africa by a drop in mining income.

    Agricultural exports from Ethiopia and Kenya have all but shut down. And foreign financial inflows from tourism, remittances and direct investment have stopped.

    Existing crises such as the desert locust invasion in Eastern and Central Africa, conflicts and drought in Southern Africa compound the problem.

    The World Bank is proposing a freeze on debt payments, which would free up over $35bn (£28bn) used annually to service loans, as well as save $44bn in waivers on interest payments.

    It is also urging the continent to consider cash transfers, food distribution, and fee waivers on basic services to support the poorest.

  6. Somalia reports first coronavirus death

    A health worker dressed in protective gear in Somalia
    Image caption: Somalia now has 12 cases of coronavirus

    Somalia has announced the first death from Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus.

    The victim was a 58-year-old man, according to the Minister for Health Fawziya Abikar Nur.

    He did not have any travel history and was being treated at Martini Hospital in the capital, Mogadishu, according to government spokesperson Ismail Mukhtar Orongo.

    The health ministry also announced that two health workers were among four new coronavirus cases in the country.

    Somalia has so far confirmed 12 coronavirus cases.

    More about coronavirus:

  7. Coronavirus: Why Kenyan MPs revealed test results

    Kenya's lawmakers have been displaying their coronavirus test results on social media amid local media reports that some tested positive on Monday.

    The country's Daily Nation and The Star newspapers quoted sources as saying that some lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus on Monday after being urged to go for voluntary testing over the weekend.

    Already some MPs were under a mandatory quarantine after returning from international trips in early March.

    Lancet Kenya, the laboratory service that conducted the tests in parliament, on Wednesday dismissed the reports as "incorrect" and "misleading".

    It said the list circulated of purported MPs who tested positive for the disease was entirely false and urged media outlets to retract the stories and apologise.

    But the reassurance came after lawmakers had already posted their test results on Twitter.

    View more on twitter
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  8. SA records highest coronavirus deaths in a day

    South African health workers conducting door to door screenings
    Image caption: South African health workers have been conducting door-to-door tests

    South Africa has announced the death of five patients who were undergoing treatment for coronavirus, the highest to be reported in a day so far.

    The latest deaths were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 18.

    The health ministry tweeted a list of all the 18 deaths with their age and location:

    View more on twitter

    South Africa has to date confirmed 1,845 coronavirus cases. The country is on a 21-day lockdown that ends on 16 April.


  9. Police arrest DR Congo president's chief of staff

    President, Felix Tshisekedi with Vital Kamerhe
    Image caption: Vital Kamerhe (L) supported Félix Tshisekedi (R) in the presidential election

    The chief of staff to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo was arrested on Wednesday in the capital, Kinshasa, after hours of questioning into the alleged misappropriation of funds.

    Vital Kamerhe was questioned over his role following allegations of corruption in infrastructure projects that fell under his remit during the first 100 days of President Félix Tshisekedi's term last year.

    He was driven after questioning to the city's main jail, Makala Prison, where he spent the night.

    It is unclear whether charges will be brought against him.

    A spokesman for President Tshisekedi is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that "the president does not comment on the decisions of the justice system".

    Mr Kamerhe's supporters protested in his hometown, Bukavu, in eastern DR Congo and blocked the road outside his party headquarters, AFP reports.

    Mr Kamerhe's party Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) backed Mr Tshisekedi's presidential bid in the December 2018 election.

  10. Uganda bans outdoors exercises over coronavirus

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Uganda's police distribute relief food to civilians
    Image caption: Uganda is on a two-week lockdown and the president wants people to exercise at home

    Uganda has banned exercising in public as an extra measure towards controlling the spread of coronavirus.

    President Yoweri Museveni said that Ugandans should exercise at home and added that he would post a video on social media to demonstrate how this could be done.

    The directive comes after videos and photos of people jogging and doing aerobics in groups in the capital, Kampala, were shared on social media.

    The president also banned the movement of all motorcycle taxis, commonly known as "boda bodas".

    The motorbikes had been allowed to carry cargo, though some had still been carrying passengers.

    The health ministry on Wednesday announced that it had confirmed one more case of coronavirus, bringing the total number to 53.

    More than 3,500 people have been tested so far, according to the ministry.

    The country is on a nationwide two-week lockdown.

    Read more:

  11. Thursday's wise words

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: What can't kill a herder can never kill all his cows." from A Runyankore proverb sent by Geofrey Rurekyera in Mbarara, Uganda
    A Runyankore proverb sent by Geofrey Rurekyera in Mbarara, Uganda
    A drawing of a herder

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

  12. Video content

    Video caption: Women who have overcome depression are running therapy sessions to help others

    Women who have overcome depression are running therapy sessions to help others

  13. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back on Thursday

    That's all from BBC Africa Live for now. There will be an automated service until Thursday morning.

    Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of our wise words:

    Quote Message: The warrior may be tripped by a maize cob." from A Kikuyu proverb sent by Martin in Nairobi, Kenya
    A Kikuyu proverb sent by Martin in Nairobi, Kenya

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

    And we leave you with you with this photo posted on Instagram of a boxer in Tanzania:

    View more on instagram
  14. Popular Zambian artist releases Covid-19 song

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Leading Zambian dancehall artist Brian Bwembya, also known as "B’Flow", has joined the list of musicians who have composed songs about coronavirus.

    The southern African country has confirmed 39 cases of Covid-19 but there has be no new case in the past six days.

    However, 31 patients are still receiving treatment, seven have recovered, and one death has been reported.

    In his song Tuleisakamana, meaning “Let’s Take Care of Ourselves", B'Flow has featured British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley.

    View more on youtube

    Other popular local musicians such as Maureen Lilanda, Pontiano Kaiche, Wezi Mhone have also released new songs educating people about coronavirus.

  15. Rampahosa backs WHO and Dr Tedros

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has called the World Health Organization (WHO) and its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus "exceptional" after they were criticised by US President Donald Trump.

    Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the WHO was "very China-centric" yet it is "largely" funded by the US.

    He warned that he could stop funding the global health organisation.

    Mr Ramaphosa tweeted that the leadership of Dr Tedros, who is from Ethiopia, during the Covid-19 pandemic was "incalculable":

    View more on twitter

    Earlier, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat had defended the WHO chief, a position that was backed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Namibia's President Hage Geingob.

    Read more:

  16. Cycling team to give bikes to SA health workers

    Eritrean cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot riding for Qhubeka
    Image caption: Qhubeka has been providing bicycles to children across South Africa

    Africa's NTT Pro Cycling outfit has said it will provide bicycles to health workers who will be conducting mass testing as part of measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

    The South-African based team is linked to the charity Qhubeka.

    As the South African government plans to test 30,000 people every day, NTT Pro Cycling team leader Douglas Ryder told the BBC's Newsday programme that their donation, through Qhubeka, would help get more people tested.

    He said:

    Quote Message: We're embarking on a project now to mobilise those people on bicycles so that they can see more people... and do more during this time of the pandemic."

    The team has a mission to promote cycling in Africa and has been providing bicycles to schoolchildren across South Africa under the slogan "bicycles change lives".

    But it has suspended handing over bicycles to children and is focusing on increasing the mobility of health workers.

    South Africa has to date confirmed more than 1,700 cases of coronavirus, the highest in the continent and is in the second week of a three-week-long nationwide lockdown.


  17. How Chineme Martins was failed by Nigerian football

    23-year-old Chineme Martins
    Image caption: 23-year-old Chineme Martins died after collapsing during a Nigerian league game

    One month on from the death of Nigerian footballer Chineme Martins, BBC Sport Africa has analysed the circumstances surrounding the death of the Nasarawa United player.

    Suspected of passing away due to a heart-related issue, Martins collapsed and died during a Nigerian league game on 8 March.

    The treatment he received in the aftermath was far from what he would have hoped for: with the club's defibrillator out-of-date, no paramedics in attendance as per league rules, and an ambulance that failed to start.

    Read the full story on the BBC Sport Africa website

  18. Seychelles to begin 21-day lockdown

    Yasine Mohabuth

    Port Louis, Mauritius

    President Faure (Courtesy: State House)

    Seychelles will from midnight on Wednesday shut down non-essential services and restrict the movements of people for 21 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    The announcement comes after a 26-year-old Seychellois man, who works as a ground handling staff at the ' international airport, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, bringing the nation's total cases to 11.

    The airport will remain closed until the end of April while new maritime surveillance will be applied in the island nation, President Danny Faure said in an address on Monday.

    The first Seychellois patient who tested positive for Covid-19 on 14 March, and a Dutch woman who tested positive the following day, have rboth ecovered from the disease, the president said.

    Seychelles, a country of 96,000 people, is a popular tourist hot spot located off the east coast of Africa.