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Coronavirus digest: Africa reports drastic decline in cases

August 27, 2020

Africa's top health official says the continent has seen a 20% decrease in new cases over the past week. Africa has reported more than 1.2 million new cases, half of which were found in South Africa.

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Africa's top public health official says the continent has seen a 20% decrease in confirmed cases in the past week. Twenty-three of Africa's 54 countries have reported a sustained decrease in new cases in the past couple of weeks, said John Nkengasong with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The continent has reported more than 1.2 million confirmed cases, roughly half of which were found in South Africa.

Read moreAfrica's varied COVID-19 rates and responses

At least a third of the world's schoolchildren have been unable to access remote learning during school closures due to the pandemic, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Thursday.

At the height of global lockdowns, around 1.5 billion schoolchildren were affected by school closures, and at least 463 million of those children did not have access to any kind of distance education.

The youngest schoolchildren, and those from the poorest households or living in rural areas, are the most likely to miss out, according to the report.

Read moreNepal: Students fear loss of academic year due to COVID-19 


The German government has elected to extend a ban on spectators in sporting venues and at major public events until the end of 2020 following a recent surge in coronavirus cases — albeit with exceptions.

The ban was discussed during a videoconference between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of the country's 16 states — the first such meeting since June 17.

Leaders also agreed on a nationwide minimum fine of €50 ($59) for failing to uphold requirements on mask wearing. A deal could not be reached, however, on limiting the number of participants at private gatherings.

Read the full story in depth here.


Mask-wearing in public spaces will be compulsory across most of Paris starting on Friday, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced. Masks are already required on public transportation nationwide and in most indoor, enclosed spaces — but wearing masks in outdoor public areas is only required in certain areas.

Castex said that 19 additional departments have been added to a map with "red" zones of active virus circulation, bringing the total to 21 out of 94.

Later on Thursday, officials announced 6,111 cases registered in the past 24 hours in France. That's the country's second-worst day in terms of new cases on record, eclipsed only by the 7,578 logged on March 30 at the height of the epidemic.

Resurgent COVID-19 infections raise fears in Paris


India has recorded another single-day record of new virus cases, reporting 75,760 new infections in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry also reported 1,023 deaths over 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 60,472. India's previous highest daily count of new cases was 70,488 on August 22.

Catch up on the latest DW coronavirus content

Berlin is bracing for a showdown this weekend, with anti-coronavirus restriction protesters planning to "storm" the capital city despite a demonstration ban. Police in the capital are preparing for all eventualities, with some groups of protesters increasingly calling for violence.

Read the full story here:  Coronavirus skeptics vow to 'storm Berlin' despite demo ban 

The coronavirus pandemic is making access to education even more difficult for many children. The UN estimates that at least one third of the world's children haven't been able to access remote learning. Particularly children in poor or rural households are the most likely to miss out.

Read the full story here:  Coronavirus: One-third of students worldwide lack remote learning access, says UN

With scientists learning more each day about the virus, the flood of new information can be confusing. DW's science podcast "Science Unscripted" helps to break down the information overload — and all in under 5 minutes. Today's topic? How is it possible for people to catch the virus a second time? And what role does our immune system play?

What do T-cells have to do with COVID-19 immunity?

Celebrations for the 11-day Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi have been scaled down across India amid COVID-19. Authorities have imposed tough restrictions on gatherings and the size of the elephant-headed god's idols. Check out our picture gallery on how this year's festival is shaping up.

lc/stb (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)