Aid workers warn on COVID-19 in camps for Mozambique cyclone victims
By Emma Rumney JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Crowded centres for people left destitute by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique create the perfect conditions for COVID-19 to spread, with some living at least 10 to a tent with no access to water, soap or masks, an international aid group said on Tuesday. Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall in Mozambique in the early hours of Saturday, weakened into a tropical storm as it moved inland to Zimbabwe, South Africa, eSwtatini - formerly Swaziland - and Botswana
By Emma Rumney
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Crowded centres for people left destitute by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique create the perfect conditions for COVID-19 to spread, with some living at least 10 to a tent with no access to water, soap or masks, an international aid group said on Tuesday.
Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall in Mozambique in the early hours of Saturday, weakened into a tropical storm as it moved inland to Zimbabwe, South Africa, eSwtatini - formerly Swaziland - and Botswana.
The death toll across the region rose to 14 on Tuesday after South Africa reported one more death. Crops, homes and infrastructure have also been destroyed, and thousands displaced in Mozambique in particular, in an area still recovering from Cyclone Idai in March 2019.
Some 93,418 people were already displaced in four provinces affected by Idai, which killed more than 1,000 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, before Eloise struck. In the port city of Beira alone, 8,700 people are living in 16 temporary shelters after their homes were destroyed by the cyclone.
"Each tent I saw had at least 10 people packed into it and families are lacking access to safe water and essential items like soap and face masks," said Marcia Penicela, project manager at ActionAid Mozambique following a visit to sites.
She said ActionAid was concerned that COVID-19 would spread rapidly in the overcrowded centres, and that urgent needs included a variety of basics from food and water to shelter.
Espinola Caribe, head of the World Food Programme's Beira sub-office, also said COVID-19 was a concern, but people had to be moved out of danger.
"This was not a planned evacuation... this was running for your life," he said.
The WFP was now due to start helping the government with supplying food to the accommodation centres.
(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Angus MacSwan)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.