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Victoria posts deadliest day, but confident coronavirus easing | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Australia on Monday reported its most deadly day of the pandemic since a second wave of the coronavirus emerged in the southern state of Victoria in July; but with new confirmed cases falling to their lowest in two months, authorities are increasingly confident the outbreak is being brought under control.

The southeastern state reported an additional 41 deaths on Monday, 22 of which occurred in nursing homes in the weeks leading up to August 27, but have only now been finalised by the health authorities, the Department of Health and Social Services said.

A total of 73 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed – the lowest since July 3 – with health officials saying that number could drop to as low as 40 by the end of the week, according to public broadcaster ABC.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said the state government would release a “roadmap” next Sunday for easing restrictions and an overnight curfew in Melbourne, but stressed changes would be gradual and would be guided by science and public health concerns.

“I want to make sure we have a Christmas Day as close to normal as possible,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“If we (remove restrictions) too quick, if we do this chasing something that might be popular for a few weeks, if we forget it’s a pandemic and think it’s a popularity contest, then Christmas won’t look normal at all.”

‘COVID Normal’

Protective equipment in high-risk workplaces, mandatory masks in public and physical distancing will be key to any reopening strategy, the government said in its statement. It also advised the creation of “workplace bubbles” to reduce the number of employees working at any one time, and added that meetings and lunchtimes were likely to look very different in what it termed “COVID Normal”.

Even when restrictions are eased, Victoria is likely to remain sealed off from other states.

In neighbouring New South Wales, sporadic clusters continue to emerge. Some 10 new cases were reported on Monday with community health officials troubled at community transmission in Sydney.

Further north in Queensland, meanwhile, an outbreak at a youth detention centre in Brisbane prompted the state government to impose a lockdown on prisons. It earlier cancelled ‘Schoolies’ – a week-long annual party on the nearby Gold Coast that draws thousands of young people celebrating the end of school.

Australia has recorded almost 26,000 cases in total and 652 deaths from the virus to date, far fewer than many other developed countries

The vast majority of cases in the past couple of months have been in Victoria, after the country’s initial success in containing the virus.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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21 workers trapped in flooded mine in China’s Xinjiang | China News

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CCTV says rescuers have located 12 of the 21 trapped miners.

Eight miners have been rescued and 21 remain trapped in a coal mine in China’s Xinjiang region after flooding cut power underground and disrupted communications, according to state media.

The accident happened in Fengyuan coal mine in Hutubi County on Saturday evening, when staff were upgrading the site, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Rescuers had located 12 of the 21 trapped miners, broadcaster CCTV said, but it was unclear if they were all together.

Rescue personnel were trying to pump water from the flooded shaft and have been piping air into the mine.

Pipes were being laid but the pumping operation was going to be challenging, CCTV said.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and enforcement of regulations is often lax.

In January, 22 workers were trapped in a mine in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance, leaving workers stuck underground for about two weeks.

Eleven men were pulled out alive, 10 died and one miner remained unaccounted for.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped underground in the southwest city of Chongqing – just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning at another coal mine in the city.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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African Champions League: CR Belouizdad join Sundowns in quarter-finals

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Amir Sayoud in action for Algerian club CR Belouizdad
Amir Sayoud opened the scoring for Algerian club CR Belouizdad as they beat South African hosts Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0.

Algerian champions CR Belouizdad earned the win they needed over hosts Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa to clinch a place in the African Champions League quarter-finals.

Amir Sayoud took his tally in the competition to seven when he gave Belouizdad the lead over Sundowns in Pretoria on 29 minutes.

That advantage was doubled just before half-time as Ahmed Gasmi headed home a cross from Zinelaabidine Boulakhoua.

It was a measure of revenge for the Algerians who were embarrassed by Sundowns on home soil in the reverse fixture when the South Africans won 5-1 in February.

In Friday’s other Group B game DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, who were already out of contention to make the last eight came from behind to clinch a 2-1 win over Sudan’s Al Hilal.

The Sudanese club had needed a win to have any chance at all of progressing.

Al Hilal made the ideal start in their bid to win against former African champions Mazembe – Eid Mugadam gave them the lead after just two minutes in Lumbumbashi – but 16 minutes later Hilal contributed to their own downfall as Ivorian defender Mohamed Ouattara scored an own goal to level the game at 1-1.

Mazembe won the game thanks to a goal from Isaac Tshibangu, who scored just moments after he came on as substitute.

The draw for the quarter and semi-finals will be held on 30 April at the Confederation of African Football’s headquarters in Cairo.

Friday’s Group B results:

  • TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 2-1 Al Hilal (Sudan)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 0-2 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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Ghana's farmers eye sweet success from chocolate

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Ghana is the world’s second largest cocoa producer but sees little of the profits from chocolate – for now.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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