The Egyptian Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus in Africa on Friday. This came after the ministry conducted several tests for the carrier.
In a statement issued on Friday, the ministry confirmed that the carrier was not Egyptian but didn’t disclose the nationality.
“The ministry has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient… who is stable,” said health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed.
Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization and the patient been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital.
What it means: The development made Egypt the first country in the African continent to report a confirmed case, and the second in the Middle East region, after the United Arab Emirates late last month diagnosed its first cases.
The death toll from the epidemic virus has neared 1,400 cases, almost exclusively in China where it was first identified.
Deep trade links with China and often overstretched healthcare systems have raised concerns about the capacity of African countries to respond to an outbreak.
Earlier this month, Egypt suspended all flights on its national carrier to China and insisted the flights will remain grounded until the end of the month.
Meanwhile, 301 Egyptians were evacuated from Wuhan, epicentre of the virus in China, and have remained in quarantine for 14 days.
Updates of the spread: China on Friday reported 121 more deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, 116 of which are from the epicentre of the infection in Hubei Province alone, bringing to at least 1,380 the total number of deaths across the country.
The latest toll reflected the removal of some deaths that had been double-counted in Hubei, the health commission said. On Thursday, Chinese health officials had already reported 1,367 deaths.
Hubei and its capital Wuhan, where the infection now known as COVID-19 is thought to have originated in late December, also reported a further 4,823 new cases of the infection, taking the total in the province alone to 51,986.
Nationwide, there are 5,090 new cases pushing the total number to nearly 64,000 as of Friday.
Jack Dorsey’s Square set to acquire majority stake in Jay Z’s Tidal for $297 million
Jack Dorsey’s company, Square set to acquire Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Jay-Z for a $297 million deal.
Square, the mobile payments company owned by Jack Dorsey, announced on Thursday its plan to acquire a “significant majority” of Tidal, the streaming music service owned by Hip-hop music mogul, Jay-Z.
Square said it expects to pay $297 million, in a combination of cash and stock, for a stake in Tidal. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will join Square’s board, subject to the closing of the transaction while Tidal will operate independently within Square.
Existing artist shareholders will still remain stakeholders. Other Tidal artist-owners include Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.
In a tweet made by Jay-Z today, he highlighted that “from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey.”
He also commented that “Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board.
“This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Jack Dorsey, who is CEO of both Square and Twitter, also commented on this deal “comes down to one simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work.”
“New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. I knew Tidal was something special as soon as I experienced it, and it will continue to be the best home for music, musicians, and culture.”
Jesse Dorogusker, a Square executive will lead Tidal on an interim basis. He added that Square will offer financial tools to help Tidal’s artists collect revenue and manage their finances. “There are other tools they need to be successful and that we’re going to build for them,”.
What you should know
- Last month, Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z announced a Bitcoin fund focused on developing the cryptocurrency’s adoption in Africa and India.
- In 2017, Sprint bought a 33% stake in Tidal. This week, Jay-Z bought back those shares from T-Mobile (which acquired Sprint).
- Last month, Jay-Z announced that he would sell 50 percent of his champagne company, Armand de Brignac — better known as Ace of Spades — to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton amid a downturn in the entertainment industry caused by the pandemic that has affected some of Jay-Z’s holdings.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes first day as WTO Director-General
Dr Okonjo-Iweala officially resumed duty as the DG of the WTO today, March 1, 2021.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian Finance Minister and the first woman and African to be appointed as Director-General of the World Trade Organization resumed her first day of work as WTO chief.
This was disclosed in a social media statement on Monday morning by the WTO. Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO has lots of work to do and she feels ready to start
The trade organisation said: “Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her first day as WTO Director-General! She makes history as the first woman and first African to take up this post.”
On her first day, Dr. Iweala said she is “coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go.”
Director-General @NOIweala & the chair of WTO fisheries subsidies talks @WillsSantiago welcomed civil society's plea for a successful conclusion to the negotiations, visiting today an ice sculpture set up in front of the WTO headquarters by the #StopFundingOverfishing coalition. pic.twitter.com/9Y5eN4Bh5y
— WTO (@wto) March 1, 2021
What you should know
- On February 15th 2021, Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was officially appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
- The United States and former Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joe Keshi pointed out that the only way Nigeria as a country can benefit from her appointment is by being productive.
- “She will not help you unless you are productive, she will not help you except you have something to sell, because her role as a DG of the World Trade Organization, the World Trade Organization is an organization that regulates global trade and except you have something to sell and you know put into the world market her role is to ensure that you get a fair deal and that you are not cheated in the whole process,” he said.
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