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All 398 samples test negative for coronavirus

All 398 samples have tested negative for coronavirus today, the ministry of Health has announced. Uganda's confirmed COVID-19 cases remain at 48.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 1 million people and killed nearly 64,000 worldwide, according to figures reported Saturday, with Europe and the US feeling the most impact.

The global tally stands at 1,192,677 cases, 64,231 deaths while 246,099 have recovered from the virus. France has once again registered the day's highest death figures at 1,053 while also registering 7,788 new cases.

Deaths in Spain and Italy have dropped to 546 and 681 deaths respectively while UK registered 708 deaths. In Africa, countries in North Africa continue to register the highest mortality figures on the continent. Algeria registered 25 new deaths, Morocco 10 deaths, Egypt 5 deaths, Senegal and Liberia a single death each. Kenya's cases rose to 126 cases after 4 new cases were registered today. Rwanda's cases rose to 102 cases following 13 new cases today. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday that he would ask parliament to extend the nationwide lockdown for a second time, to April 26. The country has recorded more than 124,700 cases of COVID-19 and more than 11,700 deaths.

Italy, the second-hardest-hit European country after Spain, has had more than 11,000 of its medical workers infected by the coronavirus, according to its National Institutes of Health and an association of physicians. The groups said about 73 physicians had died from the virus. Infections among medical personnel amounted to nearly 10% of all infections in Italy.

Britain’s ministry of Justice said Saturday that thousands of prisoners would be released within weeks as part of the country's broader campaign to contain the virus. Britain reported 708 deaths overnight, boosting the country’s toll past 4,300. The ministry said the inmates would be electronically monitored to ensure they remain at home and could be returned to prison “at the first sign of concern.”

France’s military has begun moving patients to hospitals across the country in an effort to contain the coronavirus’ spread in the hard-hit area in and around Paris. Military planes, helicopters and trains are transporting patients to less affected areas in western France. More than 6,500 deaths and 83,000 infections have been reported in France.

The United States is the world’s hot spot for the disease, with more than 278,500 cases, but its government remains reluctant to mount a unified approach to the fight. Instead, President Donald Trump has told states they are on their own in figuring out how to best deal with the public health crisis.

The Washington Post reported Saturday the findings of an investigation it had launched into the Trump administration’s reliance on a flawed test kit developed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The probe found that scientists at health labs around the U.S. were alarmed, confused and frustrated as they raced against time to identify the flaw. The report said scientists spent weeks grappling with federal regulations to get preliminary fast-track approval of tests they developed in their own labs.

The Post reported  that the Trump administration got its first official notification of the outbreak in China on January 3, but that it took the administration 70 days to treat the outbreak as the deadly pandemic it has become.

The Associated Press reported that some supplies that the U.S. government sent to some states were unusable for a number of reasons, including dry rot on masks and ventilators that were broken.

The U.S. and other countries have turned to the open market to source medical equipment and medicine for the sick and supplies to protect medical workers, bidding against each other and driving prices up.  A French politician told AP that the competition for supplies was  a “worldwide treasure hunt.”

On Friday, the CDC recommended that people wear nonmedical cloth face masks to prevent spreading the coronavirus, after weeks of assuring the public that masks were not necessary.  Trump, however, has chosen not to wear a mask, saying he did not see himself sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office while wearing a face mask.

 

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