Coronavirus live news: Victoria faces stage 4 lockdown as South Africa cases pass 500,000

Australian state braced for new announcement; South Africa accounts for more than half of Africa’s diagnosed Covid-19 infections; WHO anticipates “lengthy” pandemic. Follow the latest updates

The World Health Organization warned on Saturday the coronavirus pandemic was likely to be “lengthy” after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis six months after sounding the international alarm.

The committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this Covid-19 pandemic”, the WHO said in a statement, and warned of the risk of “response fatigue” given the socio-economic pressures on countries.

South Africa has now registered more than 500,000 cases of coronavirus, the health ministry announced Saturday, making it by far the hardest-hit country in Africa.

The country has become the epicentre of the deadly pandemic on the continent, accounting for more than half of Africa’s diagnosed infections.

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