Addis Ababa, Jan 17 (IANS) The African continent's overall coronavirus caseload has surged to 3,207,639, according to health authorities.
In its latest update on Saturday, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said the Covid death toll stood at 77,684, with 2,617,110 recoveries, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Southern African region is the hardest-hit in terms of the number of cases, followed by the Northern African region, according to the Africa CDC.
The five highly-affected African countries are South Africa (1,311,686 cases), Morocco (457,625), Tunisia (175,065), Egypt (154,620), and Ethiopia (130,326).
South Africa is also the worst-affected country in terms of Covid-19 deaths, with 36,467 fatalities.
Amid the recent spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases, thecontinent has announced that Africa CDC's African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) had secured a provisional 270 million vaccine doses for member states.
"From the onset of this pandemic, our focus as a continent has been on collaboration and collective effort. We have held steadfastly to the principle that no country should be left behind," South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), was quoted as saying in a statement.
"With this in mind, we have not only campaigned vigorously for changes through all the available international forums, but we have taken the additional step to independently secure vaccines using our own limited resources as member states," he said.
At least 50 million doses from this tranche will be available during the crucial period of April through June.
New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Singapore-based fund house, Bank Julius Baer, has upgraded India to overweight as it will be the fastest growing major economy in 2021.
"We change our stance on India from market-weight to overweight and see 15% upside from current levels with a Sensex price target of 58,450," it said in a note.
"An economic recovery is underway, and we look for 9% y/y GDP growth this year, followed by 7% next year. We look for earnings per share to grow on average over 25% over the next 3 years. It would be unprecedented for the stock market to fall in an environment of such strong growth," it added.
Scientists think "herd immunity" has been achieved in large parts of the country, which would explain why daily new cases have fallen from almost 100,000 in September to less than 15,000 presently.
Lockdowns are imposed still in specific areas that experience Covid outbreaks, but high frequency data shows that has not stopped a continuous recovery following the nation-wide lockdown from March to July of last year. For example, anonymized data gathered shows the mobility of people using Android-based smartphones is almost back to pre-Covid levels, it added.
An Initial Public Offering of LIC, India's largest insurer with $464 billion in assets, is planned for the second half of FY2022. The divestment of this company in particular will enable the government to manage its fiscal position.
The budget has set up a special purpose vehicle to sell the idle/non-core assets (especially land) of SOEs. Much of the idle land is well-situated and could be made productive, benefiting economic growth. Divestment of LIC and BPCL remains the key to meet the fiscal deficit target without compromising spending in FY22E, the research said.
With only the brief exception at the bottom of the Global Financial Crisis, in recent history India's stock market has always traded at a premium to its emerging market counterparts. The current premium of 40% is around the long-term average, it added