Africa ‘elbowed out’ in quest for tools to fight COVID-19: AU Apr 10, 2020 0 528 12345 AFPAddis AbabaAfrican Union officials said on Thursday the continent is struggling to compete with rich countries for testing kits and other equipment necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “We need aid for testing equipment,” Kwesi Quartey, the deputy chair of the African Union Commission, told a press conference.The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, also lamented the continent’s limited testing capacity and said other essential tools were similarly lacking.“We are also being elbowed out in the space of personal protective equipment and commodities to support the entire spectrum of the response, ranging from prevention of transmission, prevention of deaths and prevention of harm,” Nkengasong said. “That has to stop.”As of Thursday there were around 11,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on the continent -- a rise of more than 4,000 from just a week ago, Nkengasong said, voicing concern about the “rapid increase”.The total number of deaths as of Thursday was 572, he said. But testing has been limited in many African countries, raising concerns that cases are going undetected. Nkengasong expressed confidence that the numbers being reported painted a fairly accurate picture of the pandemic on the continent, saying it would be difficult to hide a large number of unreported cases because hospitals “would be flooded with people”. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Spy chief Kadhemi named Iraq’s third PM-designate this year Apr 10, 2020 0 2590 India seals coronavirus hotspots, masks made compulsory Apr 10, 2020 0 543 Iran says virus deaths pass 4,000 but cases dropping Apr 10, 2020 0 570 Pakistan shoots down Indian drone as Kashmir tensions rise Islamabad Pakistan’s army said on Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. According to a statement from .. IS attack in Syria kills 27 regime forces: Monitor Beirut At least 27 Syrian regime fighters were killed on Thursday in an Islamic State group attack in the central province of Homs amid fierce clashes, a war monitor said. Pro-government fighters backed by Russian air .. Calm reported in Yemen after Saudi alliance’s truce announcement DPA Sana’a Calm was prevailing in war-wracked Yemen, witnesses said on Thursday, a day after a Saudi-led alliance fighting Iran-linked rebels announced a temporary ceasefire to focus attention on battling the new .. Police arrest Filipinos for flagellating themselves despite lockdown DPA Manila Police in the Philippines said on Thursday that they had arrested three men for flagellating themselves despite a ban on Holy Week rituals amid a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The men, aged 18 .. AU deputy slams ‘colonialist’ suggestion of vaccine tests in Africa Nairobi A controversial suggestion made by French doctors to test a coronavirus vaccine in Africa smacks of colonialism and will not be pursued, the deputy head of the African Union Commission said on Thursday. “We .. Indonesia records highest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths Jakarta Indonesia on Thursday recorded its highest number of deaths from coronavirus in a single day since the country’s first cases were announced early last month. The death toll from Covid-19, the disease caused by ..