By Spy Uganda
The African Union has warned that the Coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on Africa’s tourism industry.
It says over $50bn (£40bn) in revenue was lost to the continent in just three months since the COVID-19 outbreak and as a result some airlines may not survive.
AU commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid told an online news conference with the World Health Organization that tourism was a key sector and was being badly hit by COVID-19.
“We’re talking here about almost 10% of the GDP of Africa comes from tourism and of course air travel is related to that.
“But also we have 24 million Africans, which means 24 million African families whose livelihood is linked to travel and tourism.
“So the impact is really severe and some estimates we’re talking here about almost $55bn lost within three months.”
Meanwhile, new United States Coronavirus cases rose by nearly 50,000, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.
More than half of new cases each day come from US states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, home to 30 percent of the country’s population. More than 128,000 people have died in the US due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an “immediate cessation of hostilities” for at least 90 days in key conflict countries including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
New Zealand’s health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal mistakes.
Italy’s hard-hit northern region of Lombardy accounted for considerably more than half of the nation’s latest confirmed 187 coronavirus cases – raising the total to 240,760 nationwide.
The Ministry of Health also reported 21 new deaths, raising to 34,788 the total of known deaths.
Close to 10.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, over 5.6 million have recovered, and more than 516,000 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.