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Covid-19 Affects South Africa’s Asylum Seekers

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Covid-19 Affects South Africa's Asylum Seekers

The outbreak of coronavirus has basically changed the way South Africa’s refugee operation works.  Some of the refugee reception offices in the country have even stopped accepting new asylum applications in order to adhere to the government’s strict measure to deal with the covid-19 pandemic.

Afraid of the spread of the coronavirus in the country, the South African government has closed nearly half of its 72 ports of entry.  Following president Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a state of disaster last week, some refugee reception offices also stopped issuing and renewing asylum permits as their staff wait for protective gear to arrive.

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There has been no confirmation by the department of home affairs of any measures now that would take care of arriving asylum seekers.

The international organization for migration and the United Nations high commission for refugees, UNHCR, have said they would temporarily halt refugee resettlement.

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UNHCR wrote on its website that this action is inevitable because of drastic entry bans into many countries because of covid-19.  It says restrictions on international air travel also would make it difficult to carry out its refugee resettlement program because of severe disruptions in travel arrangements.

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African News

Cameroon Prison Fire Seriously Injures Inmates

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Cameroon Prison Fire Seriously Injures Inmates

Authorities in Cameroon say a fire tore through an overcrowded maximum security prison- new bell jail in Cameroon’s port city of Douala on Thursday leading to the hospitalization of three prisoners with severe burns. Two firefighters were also injured.

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Firefighters and the police were able to contain the blaze and stop it from spreading beyond the jail, which sits in a densely populated neighbourhood of the commercial capital, close to the central market.

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Human rights groups say Cameroon’s prisons suffer from chronic overcrowding, poor sanitation conditions and disease, and cases of violence and torture are frequent. New bell prison facility was built in the 1930s for 800 inmates, amnesty international report shows it held around 2,500 as of 2011.

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Africa CDC Calls For Greater Effort To Counter Coronavirus

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Africa CDC Calls For Greater Effort To Counter Coronavirus

The head of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong has called for a greater effort to counter coronavirus at a time when there is evidence of increasing community spread in countries across the continent.

He said people with flu-like symptoms must be tested and public health measures like social distancing, wearing of masks and hand washing must intensify as cases of the virus multiplied but more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe.

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Community transmission refers to cases where covid-19 patients had no travel history or known contact with infected people.

All nations on the continent have now reported more than 129,000 confirmed cases of the infection and more than 3,700 deaths from a population of more than one billion.

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Nearly two million tests had been carried out across the continent and is aiming to reach 12 million goal.

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Libya’s Tripoli Government Says 30 Migrants Killed In Revenge Attack

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Libya's Tripoli Government Says 30 Migrants Killed In Revenge Attack

Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said on Thursday, the family of a Libyan people trafficker has killed 30 migrants in revenge for his death.

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The GNA interior ministry said in a statement 26 Bangladeshi and four African migrants were killed in Mizda town. It says 11 injured survivors had been taken to a hospital in Zintan.

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Libya has long been a destination for migrants, some who are attempting to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.

Libya spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, Safa Msehli says I.O.M. is following up on the tragedy to get more details and provide assistance to survivors.

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