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French Victim Of New SARS-like Virus Dies

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Hopital Roger Salen

France’s first victim of a new coronavirus, a 65-year-old man who had been travelling in Dubai, has died, while the second man who shared the same hospital room is stable, health officials said.

The man was hospitalised on April 23 following digestion problems after his return from Dubai and was diagnosed with the new coronavirus on May 8.

The SARS-like virus had claimed two lives in Europe already: one in Britain and the other in Germany, bringing the total number killed to 23 people around the world so far, most of which were in Saudi Arabia.

The man who shared a hospital room with the French victim for three days, was later found to have the coronavirus, a cousin of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that sparked a health scare around the world in 2003.

In his 50s, the patient has been in hospital in the northern city of Lille since May 9.

Hospital authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that both men had been placed in isolated rooms and that “all human and material means had been deployed to treat” the dead man.

The second man “was in a serious but stable condition,” it said.

Both patients were given cardiac and respiratory support oxygen, which is administered to patients whose hearts and lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they cease working, the statement added.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine expressed sadness over the death, adding: “Authorities remain on alert but… there is no new situation in our country regarding the epidemic.”

Like SARS, the virus appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, with patients suffering from a temperature, cough and breathing difficulties, but it differs from SARS in that it also causes rapid kidney failure.

The virus, which until now has been known as the novel coronavirus, or nCoV-EMC, was redubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS. There have been 44 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organisation.

Saudi Arabia has had by far the most cases, with 30 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities, while cases have also been detected in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Britain and France.

Scientists at the Erasmus medical centre in Rotterdam have pointed to bats as a natural source for the virus.

Bats were also pinpointed as a likely natural reservoir for SARS in a 2005 study, and are known carriers of the deadly hemorrhagic fever Ebola.

The WHO said on Friday that much uncertainty remained surrounding MERS, stressing that it aimed to work closely with Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries to determine how great the risk is.

Professor Ian Jones, a virologist from the University of Reading, sought to play down fears of infection.

“Apart from the unusual circumstances of very close containment with already hospitalised persons, it does not seem to transfer among people,” he said.

“As a result, the overall risk remains very low and the most pressing need is to identify where the virus is coming from so that these occasional infections can be prevented.” [Reuters]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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