Mauritius

Map of Mauritius

Provides an overview of Mauritius, including key events and facts about this ethnically diverse Indian Ocean island nation

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Mauritius deputy PM sacked after corruption probe

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

The deputy prime minister of Mauritius has been sacked after the publication of a report into an alleged corruption scandal.

The Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption of the African Development Bank investigated allegations surrounding a project to install four turbines and develop a thermal power plant.

At a press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth described the findings as "very serious".

He said that the name of his deputy, Ivan Collendavelloo, was mentioned in the report.

Mr Collendavelloo is quoted by Bloomberg news agency as saying that the allegations were "wild".

"There was nothing which stated that money was accepted or taken," he is reported to have said.

Mauritius to end lockdown but beaches remain closed

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

A beach in Mauritius
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The Indian Ocean island is popular with tourists

The prime minister of Mauritius has announced the lifting of the strict coronavirus lockdown from Sunday.

Since 20 March the Indian Ocean island nation, a popular tourist destination, has only allowed people to leave their homes if they have a work permit.

Residents have also only been allowed out to supermarkets on certain days – dependent on first letter of their surname.

But Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said supermarkets and shops would be allowed to operate normally from 31 May.

Restaurants, cafes and markets will also be able to open if they follow certain conditions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Places of worship may also reopen.

However, beaches, nightclubs and cinemas will remain closed as well as the country’s borders.Mauritius has recorded 335 cases of Covid-19, including 10 deaths.

Mauritius records first cases for a month

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

After 28 days without any new cases of coronavirus, Mauritius recorded two cases on Sunday.

The two patients are among 149 Mauritians, including three babies, who were repatriated from India on 9 May on a special Air Mauritius flight.

The development comes two weeks after Health Minister Kailesh Jagutpal said that the island nation had won the battle against Covid-19, although he add that the war against the virus was still on.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth will this week address the nation on the ongoing "sanitary curfew" which has been extended to 1 June.

Only people with special permits have been allowed to move around freely but other activities have been banned unless deemed essential.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 Mauritians stuck abroad have appealed to the government to bring them back home.

The authorities say they are preparing to repatriate its nationals from India, Madagascar and Australia.

However, those working on cruise ships feel they are being left out.

Seafarers in a Norwegian Cruise Line
Seafarers in a Norwegian Cruise Line
Seafarers in a Norwegian Cruise Line

They are estimated to be more than 1,000 in locations such as Durban, Miami and Italy.

“Many people may think that we will be bringing the virus to Mauritius,” one seafarer told the BBC.

“This is not the case and there is no virus on board, and we are doing tests regularly.

“I appeal to the foreign minister to do the needful as we are very stressed”.

Nathalie Fine, a South African who was on the cruise ship Princess, urged the Mauritian government to show “a little pity for your own citizens”.

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The government has not committed but said there "may be opportunities" for repatriation in the coming months.

Woman arrested for mocking Mauritius Covid-19 fight

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

Police in Mauritius have charged a young woman for sharing an image mocking Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth which they termed "fake news".

Rachna Seenauth shared the post with text saying that the prime minister would hold a teleconference with world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping, to advise them on how Mauritius was successfully combating the Covid-19 outbreak.

"[The world leaders] will ask Mauritian PM about the miracle treatment and methods being used in his country where Covid-19 testing frequently returns 'zero positive' results," the text on the image said.

Toby Mendel, Director of the Center for Law and Democracy, defended Ms Seenauth saying the post was just "humour":

"[This] case highlights the particular importance of protecting satire and other humorous statements, and not treating them as though they were statements of fact,

Mauritius has confirmed 328 cases of Covid-19 but last week the island nation, which is a popular tourist spot, went five days without reporting a new case.

India donates medicines to Mauritius and Seychelles

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

Mauritius and Seychelles have received tonnes of medicine, including thousands of hydroxychloroquine tablets, from India to help in their fight against Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug being used by some doctors to treat Covid-19 patients, though its efficacy is still being tested.

The first consignment of four tonnes of the drugs arrived on a charter flight on Wednesday in Seychelles.

The authorities there have confirmed 11 cases of Covid-19.

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Mauritius received 13 tonnes of drugs and 500,000 hydroxychloroquine tablets.

It has confirmed 324 positive cases and nine deaths, it has however not recorded new cases in four consecutive days.

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The island nations, which are favourite tourist spots, have close geopolitical relationship with India.

Mauritius to stagger shopping days by surname

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

people shopping
Yasine Mohabuth
People in Port Louis have been coming out to only shop for essential supplies since the lockdown was imposed on 23 March

People in Mauritius will from now on shop for essentials on allocated days depending on the first letter of their surname as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minster Pravind Jugnauth said the measure would avoid overcrowding, adding that shoppers will only have 30 minutes to finish their shopping.

This means that, those whose surnames begin with A-F will shop on Monday and Thursday, G-N on Tuesday and Friday and O-Z on Wednesday and Saturday.

The shops will be closed on Sunday.

That means, I - Mohabuth - will only have to wait two more days to top up on basic food items.

On Tuesday, the island nation reported its fifth death following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the island nation.

The latest victim, a 71-year-old man, had been admitted to hospital on Sunday.

The authorities say 161 people with Covid-19 are being treated in hospitals across the country.

Some 1,709 people are in quarantine in government facilities and private hotels.

The prime minister also announced the extension of a nationwide lockdown, due to end on Thursday, to at least 15 April.

Four more cases of coronavirus reported in Ethiopia

Kalkidan Yibeltal

BBC News, Addis Ababa

Man in protective suit looking at a train
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Last week workers disinfected Addis Ababa's public transport network

Ethiopia has reported four additional cases of coronavirus making the country's total number of confirmed cases 16.

The newly confirmed cases include the first one outside the capital Addis Ababa - a 61-year-old man in Adama, 100km (62 miles) east of the capital.

Other confirmed cases are a 71-year-old Mauritian and two Ethiopian women in their 20s.

Coronavirus: Mauritius imposes total lockdown

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

The government of Mauritius has imposed a total lockdown in the tourist hotspot to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The island nation, which has a population of 1.2m, has reported two deaths from Covid-19 and 28 positive cases.

People stocked up on food and other supplies ahead of Monday's official start of the lockdown, from 20:00 local time (16:00 GMT).

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said on Sunday that the measures were necessary because the country was dealing with a "war situation".

Mr Jugnauth said he was concerned that people were not observing strict crowd control measures introduced by the government to help curb the spread of the respiratory virus.

"The situation can get worse with some irresponsible persons [who did not respect the confinement] and endanger the lives of an entire population," he said.

During the lockdown period, which will run until 2 April, people will not be allowed to leave their houses unless they have a permit from the police commissioner.

However, they will be allowed to go out to buy essential supplies from bakeries, supermarkets, and some shops which will be opened at specific times.

The new strict measures also give police powers of arrest without a warrant.

Kitesurfing at Bella Mare beach on February 01, 2020 in Bella Mare, Mauritius
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Mauritius is popular with tourists because of its beaches