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World in brief - Saturday March 28 2020

INDIA: Around 40,000 residents from 20 villages in Punjab were quarantined yesterday following a Covid-19 outbreak linked to just one man, a 70-year-old preacher who died shortly after returning from Italy.

He had ignored advice to self-isolate after his return, spreading the coronavirus throughout his community. India’s 1.3 billion population is on lockdown with 640 confirmed cases, 30 of which are in Punjab.

IRAQ: Four aid workers from a French Christian charity have been freed after being held in captivity in Baghdad since January 20, President Emmanuel Macron’s office confirmed yesterday.

Three French nationals and an Iraqi were released a day after France said it would be pulling troops out of Iraq because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

SOS Chrétiens d'Orient said no group had taken responsibility for the kidnapping and no ransom demands had been made.

LIBERIA: President George Weah has released a coronavirus song containing lyrics with information about preventing spread of the disease — three cases have been confirmed in the country.

The former professional footballer recorded the single in his recording studio in the capital Monrovia a few weeks ago, according to spokesman Solo Kelbegh.

He sings the line “Covid-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems” while a gospel choir sings a chorus of: “We must all rise, let’s stand together to fight corona.”

KOSOVO: The government collapsed yesterday following a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Albin Kurti just two months after it was sworn in.

Mr Kurti was accused by a junior coalition partner of breaking an agreement by sacking Kosovo’s interior minister without consultation.

It leaves Kosovo in deadlock as it is unable to hold elections due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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