Nigeria: Rehabilitation Scheme Snubs Ex-Boko Haram Women


[CAJ News] Abuja, Nigeria -- Nigeria's programme to rehabilitate repentant members of the Boko Haram has come under criticism for shunning women that quit the terror group.

Africa's top virus deaths: Cameroon women's football medic dies


The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic across Africa is heading is gone past the 1,000 mark as of April 18, 2020. The casualties cut across age groups. From the death of a 6 year-old in Kenya, older patients in most instances and persons in the youth bracket. While each death is reported with a sombre mood and with condolences to affected families, some of the casualties have united a country in grief, in other cases united the continent and people beyond Africa’s borders. From top politicians – former presidents, prime ministers and lawmakers, to entertainment icons and top sportsmen, the virus has left in its wake prominent casualties who could hardly get the send-off they would have been accorded in “normal times.” This article briefly profiles as many casualties as possible: July 10: Top female medic dies in Yaounde Cameroon’s medical and football fraternities recorded a big loss late last week when Dr. Anastasie Akamba, head of a district hospital in the capital Yaounde died from COVID-19. The state broadcaster, CRTV, said she had been in respiratory distress for days before succumbing. She was also the doctor for the Under-17 national women’s football team. The football federation confirmed the death last Friday, July 10. FECAFOOT in their condolence message described her as a “servant of women’s football.” “Deeply touched by this other big loss that we are registering within the medical professional, I would like to express all my compassion to the bereaved families. We will continue to improve the protection of health personnel throughout this crisis,” Health Minister Manaouda Malachie tweeted on Sunday. The issue of exposed medics in the frontline of the virus fight continues to beset Africa’s already bogged down health system. Ghana, Nigeria and recently Kenya are among countries that have lost heath personnel to the virus. Most health workers have been given tax rebates by governments whiles elsewhere they have protested against lack of personal protective equipment and for more risk allowances, case in point Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Malawi. Cameroon’s Case load as of July 13, 2020 Confirmed cases = 15,173 Active cases = 2,882 Recoveries = 11,928 Number of deaths = 359 John Hopkins University stats July 9: South African queen dies A prominent traditional ruler in South Africa has died after contracting coronavirus, the state-owned SABC has reported. The 56-year-old monarch died on July 8 from COVID-19 complications. Queen Noloyiso, widow of the late King Maxhobha Sandile, passed away on 8 July 2020 following a short illness, the government said. Reacting to the news today, president Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness and extended condolences at the passing of Regent of the Royal House of the amaRharhabe, Queen Noloyiso Sandile. “We join the Great Place of Mngqesha and amaRharhabe in mourning her passing; at the same time we pay tribute to her for her deep and unwavering commitment to the upliftment of her people and to her country. May her soul rest in peace,” said the President. Adding: “At a time when we face a grave public health emergency in the form of coronavirus, Queen Noloyiso actively mobilised support for the national effort to combat the pandemic, including calling on communities to halt traditional initiations.” South Africa currently accounts for over 43% of Africa’s caseload according to the WHO Africa region stats. Cases continue to gallop in the country as government implements an aggressive testing regime which has seen over 1.9 million tests conducted so far. South African stats by close of day July 8 Confirmed cases = 224,665 Tests conducted = 1,944,399 Recoveries = 106,842 Number of deaths = 3,602 Major African stats: July 9 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 522,643 Active cases = 257,466 Recoveries = 252,944 Number of deaths = 12,233 President mourns passing of AmaRharhabe Queen Noloyiso Sandile https://t.co/TAXzyYwwHu pic.twitter.com/13lafnLIiX— SAgovnews (SAgovnews) July 9, 2020 Ghana’s medical, political losses The Ghana Medical Association, GMA, has reported the loss a number of skilled medics – all of them lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Among them are: An Orthopaedic Surgeon, A General Surgeon, A paediatrician and a Consultant Physician / Academic. The latter casualty was Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, whose death occurred in the early hours of Friday (April 10) in the capital Accra specifically at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, where he had been on a brief admission. It was later confirmed that it was due to the virus. The others were Dr. Harry Boateng, a Specialist Paediatrician and Medical Superintendent at the Kwadaso SDA Hospital. A retired Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Emmanuel Twagirayesu as well as Dr. Richard Kisser, a Consultant Surgeon with the Trust Hospital in the capital Accra. The leading local news portal Ghanaweb said in a report that: “Over 150 medical practitioners had been infected by the virus since the outbreak in March 2020. “The GMA further wishes to bring to the notice of all members that over 150 medical doctors and dentist have been infected with SARS-COV 2 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. “In view of the unfortunate increasing trend of infections among health workers, all members should consciously ensure their safety at all times in the care of all patients regardless of the point of care,” a GMA release read in part. On the political front, the president in an address confirmed that Anthony K. K Sam, the Mayor of the Western Region’s oil-rich twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi had succumbed to the disease on Friday, June 12. The ruling New Patriotic Party was joined by Ghanaians to mourn the death of a former general secretary of the party, Kojo Owusu Afriyie, who died whiles receiving treatment for the virus. He was serving as head of Ghana’s Forestry Commission at the time of his demise. Ghana has also recorded increasing infections among top government officials with the president currently in isolation after being exposed to a positive patient. pic.twitter.com/kkDXypk7gG— Nana Akufo-Addo (@NAkufoAddo) July 2, 2020 June 25: Ex-Nigerian governor succumbs Abiola Ajimobi, a two-term governor in Nigeria’s southwestern Oyo State, was reported dead today with reports saying he had died from underlying health conditions after contracting coronavirus. He passed away in Lagos at the age of 70. His death had been dispelled by the family last week when his situation reportedly intensified even though some journalists reported that he had died. At the time of his death, he was a deputy national chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. The current governor of Oyo, Seyi Makinde contracted the virus and recovered. Other sitting governors to have recovered include Kaduna State’s Ahmed El-Rufai and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State. Nigeria’s COVID-19 stats per John Hopkins Uni tallies as of June 24, 2020 were: Confirmed cases = 22,020 Active cases = 13,865 Recoveries = 7,613 Number of deaths = 542 Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. I received with shock the death of Sen. Abiola Ajimobi—the immediate past governor of Oyo State. May Allah SWT ease the burden of the loss on the family and grant him the highest place in Jannah.— Senator Bala A. Mohammed (@SenBalaMohammed) June 25, 2020 Good night former GOVERNOR ABIOLA AJIMOBI of Oyo State. My sincere condolences to the family… RIP. pic.twitter.com/Rxym8ciGy6— Dele Momodu Ovation (@DeleMomodu) June 25, 2020 June 21: Veteran AP video, photo-journalist in Congo dies of COVID-19 John Bompengo, who covered Congo’s political turmoil as a freelance photographer and video journalist for The Associated Press over the course of 16 years has died, relatives said Sunday. He was 52. The cause of death was complications due to the coronavirus. Bompengo had been hospitalized for about a week but his condition rapidly deteriorated Friday and he died the following day. Bompengo had contributed to AP since 2004, including coverage of the Ebola outbreak in northern Congo, in 2018. He also worked for the U.N.-backed news service, Radio Okapi. Andrew Drake, the AP’s Africa news director remembered Bompengo as a “stalwart colleague and an impressive storyteller.” “John could talk his way in and out of places where others couldn’t to get striking images,” Drake said. “He had great contacts and friends across the entire country. Whether news was breaking in Kinshasa or across the river in Brazzaville, John was always on top of things, fast to arrive on the scene and with a plan to get the best pictures. “He was committed to covering the flow of Congo’s sometime violent politics, always to be found at the heart of the action on the streets taking photos and video, but soon after he would be back in his suit covering the president.” Among his memorable assignments was covering Congo’s 2006 election, the country’s first multiparty vote in more than 40 years — held nine years after the death of Mobutu Sese Seko. When dangerous clashes broke out after one opposition party decided to boycott, Bompengo went out into the streets to film them even when other journalists stayed back. “There were angry protesters throwing stones at cars, clashing with police and attacking journalists,” recalled Khaled Kazziha, now AP’s senior producer for East Africa. “That afternoon John arrived with incredible video of the clashes.” “He had an incredible knack at navigating around the often chaotic streets of Kinshasa at the worst of times, and to pacify the most angry crowds, ensuring our safety.” Jerome Delay, AP Chief Africa photographer, said Bompengo was a valued colleague. “I have known and worked with John for the past 15 years. “I have rarely seen such a dedicated field journalist. ... John was a one man band international multi-format news agency — TV, radio, print and photos — he would excel in all fields. We have lost a brother.” The deceased is survived by his wife and nine children. AP May 13: Eritrean freedom fighter, ex-diplomat dies in UK Former Eritrean diplomat and freedom fighter has died in the UK after contracting coronavirus. The family of Afwerki Abraha confirmed his demise to the BBC. He had been in intensive care in London for a month, and did not have any underlying health issues. “Afwerki Abraha was a man who easily made the transition from a fighter to a professional and a loyal person,” his colleague and senior diplomat Haile Menkerios told the BBC. According to the BBC, after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia, Abraha became the first Eritrean diplomat to be posted to Ethiopia. He was a chemist by profession having received training in Russia. From his ambassadorial role, he moved on to London, where he was officially based from 1996 until 2001. Along with his ailing wife Fatina Ahmedin, herself a former fighter, the couple opted to stay in the UK. A relative told the BBC that the deceased was devoted to his wife’s care for 20 years “never leaving her alone.” Photo credit BBC May 10: Somali envoy to Egypt, Arab League dies The Somali government on Monday confirmed the death of its ambassador to Egypt, Abdikani Mohamed Wa’ays. The Prime Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated the diplomat for his service to the nation. The confirmation was mute on cause of death. A privately-owned portal, Garowe Online, disclosed that the ambassador had succumbed to COVID-19 in Kuwait after he was admitted to a health facility for a week. He tested positive for the virus at the facility, Garowe’s sources confirmed. He doubled as Somalia’s envoy to the Arab League which is based in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. He had served in different portfolios before his last deployment. The diplomat is said to have been suffering from diabetes. He joins a list of Somalis who have been lost to the virus; among them are Khalif Mumin Tohow, a regional state official who died in Mogadishu; ex-Prime Minister Nur Adde and music icon Ahmed Ismail Hussein – both of whom died in the UK. Somalia COVID-19 stats: May 11 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 1054 Number of deaths = 51 Recoveries = 118 May 2: Nigerien minister succumbs to virus Coronavirus caused the death of Niger’s minister of employment and labour, Mohamed Ben Omar, public television announced Monday after several media outlets had linked his death to the virus. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) which he belonged to confirmed that Ben Omar, 55, had died on Sunday at the main hospital in the capital Niamey but did not list the cause. “Alas, it is this terrible disease which took the life of minister Mohamed Ben Omar,” public television Tele Sahel reported. Before announcing the news, the channel broadcast a recent message from the minister urging workers to protect themselves from the coronavirus. “COVID-19 is a reality, it’s not a state of mind. It’s deadly. It kills. It spreads at the speed of light,” Mohamed Ben Omar told the station. “We must get a grip of ourselves in order to say ‘stop this virus.’ It is discipline alone that will be the weapon to destroy this virus,” he said. READ MORE – Niger Labour Minister dies from virus April 28: Revered Kenyan Bishop dies in Italy Media in Kenya earlier this week reported the death of a former Catholic Bishop who died of COVID-19 in the Italian city of Turin. According to reports Bishop Silas Njiru succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at the Rivoli Hospital. He was 92 years old. Njiru was bishop of Meru county in central Kenya over a period of 28 years (from 1976 until 2004). Bishop Salesius Mugambi, who took over from him told a local newspaper that Njiru lived in an retirement home where two other elderly priests had contracted the virus. Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto in paying tribute to the retired Bishop referred to him as a “tender-hearted and gracious man with steadfast religious credence, which he instilled to many.” Kenya’s COVID-19 file as of May 1 is as follows: 396 cases, 17 deaths and 144 recoveries. Major African stats: May 1 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 38,825 Number of deaths = 1,634 Recoveries = 12,543 Infected countries = 51 Virus-free countries = 1 (Lesotho) April 18: Sékou Kourouma: Guinea’s chief of staff succumbs Guinea recorded a second high-profile death from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period after that of elections body head Amadou Salif Kebe was announced on Friday, April 17. The new death was of Sékou Kourouma, the secretary general of the government and a relative of President Alpha Condé. He died on Saturday after contracting the COVID-19 disease, the Guinean government announced on Sunday (April 19) in a statement. “Several senior state officials (have died) from complications from Covid-19,” the government statement confirmed. Before Kourouma and Kebe, Victor Traoré, a former director of Interpol in Guinea had also succumbed to the pandemic. As of April 20, Guinea has officially reported 579 cases of coronavirus. Five people died whiles 87 others have recovered from the disease, according to the National Agency for Health Security, the official body managing the pandemic. A presidential order that made face masks mandatory in the West African country came into effect from April 18 as part of measures to help curb the progression of the virus. This measure is in addition to others already taken, such as the establishment of a night curfew, the closing of schools, borders and places of worship as well as restrictions on gatherings. April 17: Nigeria president’s top aide succumbs Chief of Staff to Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari died on Friday April 17, the presidency confirmed in a statement posted by Buhari’s spokespersons on early Saturday. Spokesman Garba Shehu posted on social media: “The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020.” Kyari who was in his 70s was an influential figure in the Buhari administration. It was reported that the running of government business largely revolved around him. He has been in the role for as long as Buhari has been president, since 2015. He had been diagnosed with coronavirus which he is believed to have contracted whiles on official duty in Germany. He was transferred from the capital Abuja to Lagos for medical care. Reports indicate that Kyari had a history of medical complications, including diabetes. He is tagged as the gatekeeper to the president. Many who wish to deal with Buhari must go through Kyari, including Nigeria’s top politicians and business owners. April 17: Amadou Salif Kebe: Guinea elections boss dies Amadou Salif Kebe chairperson of Guinea’s elections body has died of the coronavirus according to French online news portal, Jeune Afrique. The Independent Electoral Commission, CENI, in a statement confirmed that Kebe had died on Friday April 17, 2020; it did not mention the cause of death. The Jeune Afrique report, however, cites persons close to the deceased confirming that he died on the virus which he is believed to have contracted during the last elections held in the West African country. The polls of March 22 involved a controversial referendum staunchly resisted by the oppostion and a partial parliamentary election. It was met with violence that resulted in the loss of lives. As of April 18, Guinea’s file had 477 confirmed cases with 59 recoveries and three deaths. Benedict Somi Vilakazi: South Africa mourns celebrant of history Benedict Somi Vilakazi had been surrounded by history. His grandfather was South Africa’s first black lecturer at Witswatersrand University and produced an English/Zulu dictionary, enormous achievements in a country then divided sharply by race. The most famous street in Soweto shares his name, and two Nobel Peace Prize winners — Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu — lived along it. Vilakazi was proud of that past and put a mural about his grandfather in his coffee shop that was popular with tourists and locals alike. Some of them gathered, carefully, keeping a distance and many wearing facemasks, on Thursday to mourn the 57-year-old Vilakazi, who died of COVID-19. The pallbearers wore full protective suits. READ MORE: AP photo report Emeka Chugbo: Nigerian doctor infected on duty, dies A Nigerian doctor, Emeka Chugbo, succumbed to COVID-19 after contracting the virus while managing an infected patient at his private clinic. The doctor was admitted to Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Monday, April 13 and died on Wednesday, according to the hospital’s director Chris Bode. Mr Bode said the doctor was brought to the hospital with severe symptoms. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said the deceased was exposed while managing a patient who died last Friday. The association is quoted by the Vanguard newspaper as saying that the 51-year-old doctor was asthmatic. The NMA has in the past urged the state governments to provide enough protective gear to all health workers. The association urged patients to be honest about their medical, travel and contact history to help doctors quickly identify a potential coronavirus case. BBC report Words cannot express man. This was sudden, this feels illegal. Known you since I was a kid. You were the 1st person ever to express and give me confidence in my intellectual abilities. One of the smartest people I ever knew. Dr. Emeka Chugbo ??? RIP Unc! I love u die! pic.twitter.com/2P6NkcOmtB— ᵗᵃᵐᵃᶰʲᶤ (@TopWAV) April 15, 2020 April 12: Khalif Mumin: Top Somalia regional official Somalia lost a regional official to COVID-19 on Sunday, April 12. The death of Khalif Mumin was the second in the Horn of Africa nation. He died at a hospital in the capital Mogadishu. The Maritini Hospital is Somalia’s only coronavirus treatment center. The deceased was a top official of the Hirshabelle region of Somalia. He served as Minister of State for Justice. News of his infection was reported two days earlier. He is the first serving Somali minister to succumb to the disease. Earlier this month, a former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein also known as “Nur Adde” died of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. Somalia also lost an iconic of its modern music, Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi, who also died in the UK. The coronavirus file for Somalia as of April 12 stood at 21 cases, 2 deaths and 2 recoveries. The country only recently achieved testing capacity given that samples used to be sent to Nairobi, Kenya. BREAKING: Khalif Mumin Tohow, #Hirshabelle’s justice Minister who was also a regional MP dies of Coronavirus at Martini Hospital in the capital #Mogadishu. This is the second confirmed #Covid19 death in the country. pic.twitter.com/TjNn3A1ybG— Somalia Latest News (@NaziifAbdullahi) April 12, 2020 April 10: Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule: Ghana loses renowned physician A renowned Ghanaian physician has been lost to COVID-19, local media portals reported on Saturday. The death of Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, occurred in the early hours of Friday (April 10) in the capital Accra specifically at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, where he had been on a brief admission. He was the Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, despite succumbing to COVID-19 a senior member of the Ghana Medical Association, (GMA) who confirmed the death stressed that Prof Plange-Rhule had an underlying medical condition. Justice Blankson, GMA General-Secretary, said it was too early to tell whether the deceased got infected in the line of duty or not. For a man who dedicated the better part of his life to curing the sick, his death has been described as an incalculable loss by persons within and outside the medical fraternity. Prof. Plange-Rhule was a former President of the GMA as well as the Ghana Kidney Association. He recently served as Head of the Department of Physiology of the School of Medical Sciences, Kumasi and a Consultant Physician in the Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) where he started the Hypertension and Renal Clinic and oversaw its operations for the past 20 years, local news portal Myjoyonline said in a report Photo credit: LM Photography, Facebook Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi: Father of modern Somali music The second Somali in days to die of the COVID-19 pandemic is Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi, reputed as one of the founders of modern Somali music. He died in London at the age of 92, reports noted. Known as “the King of Oud” – the instrument that he played – Hudeydi became a key figure “during the anti-colonial movement and decolonisation period” in Somalia, according to Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organisation. “In short, his music embodied the sound of the long struggle to freedom and independence,” she added in a statement. He was born in the port city of Berbera in 1928, grew up in Yemen but returned to Somalia as a young adult, Ms Ali said. Apparently he discovered the Oud as a boy growing up in Yemen. He moved to London in the 1990s during the civil war in Somalia. Somalis took to social media platform Twitter to send their condolence to family and friends and to celebrate the memory of the late musician. Ex-Libyan PM who served after Gaddafi ouster Mahmud Jibril was a former head of the rebel government that overthrew Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He died of the coronavirus in an Egyptian hospital, his party confirmed on April 5. The 68-year-old former Prime Minister was in Cairo where he had been hospitalised for two weeks, said Khaled al-Mrimi, secretary of the Alliance of National Forces party founded by Jibril in 2012. Reports indicate he was admitted to the hospital on March 21 after suffering a heart attack, before testing positive for the new coronavirus and being quarantined. He served as head of the interim government in March 2011, a few weeks after the outbreak of the Arab Spring uprising in Libya. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Ex-Somali Prime Minister “Nur Adde” Last week, Somalis united on Twitter to pay tribute to a former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as “Nur Adde,” who died of coronavirus in London. The 82-year-old, was prime minister between November 2007 and February 2009. He was a one-time attorney general under the tenure of President Siad Barre who was overthrown in 1991. He was a police officer who trained as a lawyer, acquaintances hailed him for his hands-on leadership. “We extend our most profound condolences to the Somali people, friends and bereaved family of Somalia’s former Prime Minister, HE Nur Hassan Hussein who passed away in London, UK,” Somali PM posted on Twitter. BREAKING: Former Somali Prime Minister, Nur Hassan Hussein “Nur Adde” has passed away in London after recently contracting the #CoronaVirus, sources. Nur Adde was PM between Nov 2007 and Feb 2009. He was also the President of Somali Red Crescent for many years. He was 82. pic.twitter.com/LEFgB18nPN— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) April 1, 2020 Senegalese journalist, sports administrator – Pape Diouf Senegal mourned its first coronavirus death which came with extra pain because it involved an illustrious son of the land, journalist and sports administrator, Pape Diouf. The 68-year-old was a former president of French soccer club Marseille between 2005-09. Authorities confirmed that he had been in intensive care in Dakar. Senegal President Macky Sall wrote on his official Twitter account that he had followed Diouf’s health closely after he was admitted for treatment. “I pay tribute to this great figure in sport,” Sall wrote. “I pay tribute to the medical staff at Fann Hospital who spared no effort to save him.” Relatives said Diouf was meant to be moved to France. He had recently traveled to several countries in the West Africa region. Diouf was a charismatic and popular leader who was close to the fans and players at Marseille, the only French team to win the European club title. “Pape will forever remain in the hearts of Marseille people and (is) one of the great architects of the club,” Marseille wrote under a photo of Diouf. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Top Zimbabwean broadcaster becomes first COVID-19 casualty A prominent broadcaster Zororo Makamba (30 years) became the first person to die of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe. The deceased was the son of business mogul and ruling Zanu PF politician James Makamba and had been admitted to hospital after his condition deteriorated. The Ministry of Health and Child Care via Twitter confirmed the death of Zororo Makamba, the second person to test positive in Zimbabwe. He had underlying medical conditions, making him more vulnerable to complications arising from the virus. He had travelled to New York in February 2020 and returned home on March 9, transiting through Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa. Government said he begun showing mild flu-like symptoms on March 12 that progressively worsened. He consulted a doctor and was instructed to self-quarantine. He launched his media career at local radio station ZiFM Stereo, where he hosted current affairs programmes. He moved to television where one of his most popular shows was “Tonight with Zororo”, which aired on MNet’s Zambezi Magic. He won several accolades including a National Arts and Merit Award and Best Male Achiever at the Zimbabwe Youth Achievers Awards. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Aurlus Mabele – Congolese ‘King of Soukous’ Over in Central Africa, coronavirus claimed a music star from Congo reputed by his fans as ‘King of soukous’ – a high tempo dance music enjoyed across the continent. Aurlus Mabélé real name is Aurélien Miatsonama, was from Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France in the 1980s. He died in a Parisian hospital, aged 67. The announcement of his death according to Congolese local news site IciBrazza was first posted by his compatriot Mav Cacharel on Facebook. “Good evening everyone, I have sad news to announce the death of my famous friend, brother and collaborator Aurlus Mabélé, which happened this Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 14 pm, in the Paris region, from the follow-up of (a) coronavirus (case),” Cacharel’s post read in part. The deceased’s daughter, singer Liza Monet, also tweeted on Thursday that her father had died of coronavirus. “Thank you for honoring his memory. It is a great legend of the Soukouss that the Congolese people have lost today. I am inconsolable and collapsed,” a translation of her tweet read. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Ex-Congolese president Yhombi-Opango In late March, a former president of the Republic of Congo died after contracting coronavirus. Jacques Joaquim Yhombi-Opango breathed his last at the age of 81 in a Paris hospital. His family confirmed that he had underlying health conditions before contracting the virus. Yhombi-Opango was president of Congo-Brazzaville from April 1977 until he was toppled in February 1979 by the current president Denis Sassou Nguesso. He spent years in prison till the country introduced multi-party democracy in 1991. He served as Prime Minister under the government of Pascal Lissouba between 1992 and 1997, until a civil war broke out in 1997. He went into exile in France, before being allowed to return home 10 years later. ?#Congo – Ancien Président de la République (4 avril 1977- 5 Février 1979), ancien Premier Ministre (juin 1993 – aout 1996) sous le régime du Président Pascal Lissouba (1992-1997), Jacques Joachim Yhomby-Opango, est décédé ce jour 30/03/2020 en région parisienne (#France) pic.twitter.com/A7SklmyL7P— ICIBRAZZA (@ICIBrazza) March 30, 2020 African music icon, Cameroon’s Manu Dibango Cameroonian Afro-jazz legend, Manu Dibango’s death is one that hit the continent and beyond. The ‘Soul Makossa’ author died at the age of 86. His family disclosed in a Facebook post that the singer and celebrated saxophonist’s death was as a result of the new coronavirus. Dibango is celebrated for one of the biggest planetary hits in world music, “Soul Makossa” (released in 1972). he was said to be the first global celebrity to die from the virus. He died in a Parisian hospital, manager of his music publishing business, Thierry Durepaire told AFP. A statement released by the family read: “It is with deep sadness that we announce to you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, due to covid-19.” Born in 1933 in the city of Douala, he attended church from where he honed his music skills. Celebrated for a unique blend of jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. Influenced bands from Kool and the Gang in the 1970s to hip-hop in the 1990s. Best known for his hit Soul Makossa. He served as the pioneer chairman of the Cameroon Music Corporation. UNESCO appointed him Artist for Peace in 2004 Collaborated with several artists including Nigeria’s Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and US pianist Herbie Hancock. On record to have sued Michael Jackson and Rihanna in 2009, accusing the duo of unlawfully adopting some of his lyrics. He eventually settled out of court. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Mukendi wa Mulumba – top legal aide to DRC president Still in Central Africa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Felix Tshisekedi lost a top legal aide to the virus. Jean-Joseph Mukendi wa Mulumba was the acting head of the president’s legal advisory council. He is believed to have contracted the coronavirus whiles in France for a medical check-up. Mr Mulumba was a celebrated personality in the country’s harsh opposition terrain. As a reputed lawyer he also championed numerous human rights causes. He was an aide to the president’s father and veteran opposition figure, the late Etienne Tshisekedi. He also represented opposition politician Moïse Katumbi and others who opposed former President Joseph Kabila’s attempt to extend his term in office. Katumbi in a statement said he was inconsolable at the loss of a more than a lawyer and friend; a big brother and father. Many in DR Congo have described Mr Mukendi wa Mulumba’s death as a huge loss. Rights activist Anneke Van Woudenberg wrote on Twitter: “He was one of the greats. His country, and the human rights movement, will miss him.” Notre grand frère le Bâtonnier Mukendi, défenseur infatigable de la justice en #RDC, vient de nous quitter. Paix à son âme. ?? Mon message de condoléance : ?? pic.twitter.com/n5Klm8AcOa— Moise Katumbi (@moise_katumbi) March 24, 2020 Ms Rose Marie Compaore: Top lawmaker becomes Burkina Faso’s first COVID-19 casualty On March 17 March Burkina Faso recorded its first coronavirus death. The authorities confirmed that the patient was Ms Rose Marie Compaore, who was the first-vice president of the parliament. She died aged 62 and was said to have diabetes, an underlying health condition. President Marc Roch Kabore and Speaker of the National Assembly, Alassane Bala Sakande, were among those that sent condolences to the family via social media platform Twitter. “This tragic event calls us all to recognise the scale and seriousness of the problem which confronts us all,” said Martial Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso’s COVID-19 response coordinator. “This is a very contagious illness that is potentially fatal and that for now has no treatment aside from prevention,” he stressed. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } @AlfaAfrican Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa Digital journalist alfa.shaban@africanews.com

Tanzania: Plans to Issue COVID-19 Clearance 'Certificates' for Travellers


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Madagascar COVID-19: Two lawmakers succumb, 25 others infected


July 13: Two lawmakers succumb, 25 others infected Two lawmakers in Madagascar have died after contracting COVID-19, over twenty others are also receiving treatment for the virus, president Andry Rajoelina announced on Sunday. The deceased comprise one Senator and a member of the lower chamber. 11 other members and 14 senators also tested positive. The news comes as government reimposed lockdown on a major region under which the capital Antananarivo falls. The reason was to better contain surge in cases. A week ago, the presidency issued a statement dispelling social media reports that Rajoelina had contracted the virus. The country’s caseload is one of the highest in the southern African region, it is also the most impacted island nation on the continent. Confirmed cases = 4,867 Active cases = 2,454 Recoveries = 2,378 Number of deaths = 35 John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of July 13, 2020 .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } July 7: Rajoelina hasn’t tested positive – Presidency The Malagasy presidency had reason to issue an official statement denying social media reports that President Rajoelina had tested positive for the COVID-19. The July 7 statement (in French) said the president was occupied with leading the country’s fight against the virus and was exercising full control over the governance machinery. Spike in cases especially in the capital Antananarivo has precipitated the reinstatement of a lockdown to control spread of the virus. Press release denying rumors about the state of health of the President of the Republic (Translation) The Presidency of the Republic formally denies rumors about the state of health of the President of the Republic, Andry Rajoelina, relayed by social networks and or published on websites. President Andry Rajoelina is in good health and is not affected by covid-19 at all. He has never left Malagasy territory since the start of the health crisis to date. He faces with all the Malagasy people, the global health crisis which affects our country today and he continues to find, with all the specialists and all the State entities, suitable solutions in the management of this pandemic. He directs the councils of ministers and several meetings by videoconference to respect the health rules required to prevent the spread of this covid 19 virus. Confirmed cases = 3,573 Active cases = 1,779 Recoveries = 1,761 Number of deaths = 33 John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of July 9, 2020 Major African stats: July 9 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 522,643 Active cases = 257,466 Recoveries = 252,944 Number of deaths = 12,233 .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } June 18: Madagascar to produce COVID-Organics capsules Madagascar is in the process of equipping its health facilities in order to produce most medicines it currently imports, president Rajoelina announced on Thursday. The president was reacting to the receipt of state-of-the-art equipment to equip the new pharmaceutical plant “Pharmalagasy.” The consignment was delivered by the Pharma Wing section of Ethiopian Airlines. “Thanks to the work of Malagasy researchers and foreign scientists, Pharmalagasy will launch CVO+, a curative and preventive capsule against Covid-19 made from artemisia,” Rajoelina added stressing that the move was part of Madagascar positioning “itself on the global pharmaceutical market.” COVID-Organics has now transited from the usual liquid form, even as government backtracked on administering it via injectables. The capsules are the new form that the president is announcing. Meanwhile, the WHO and Africa Centers for Disease Control, Africa CDC, have yet to release any findings or developments from their interactions with Malagasy authorities over the purported virus cure. The country has also announced a partnership with a Bionexx, a company specialized in the culture of artemisia, a move that will make Madagascar the first African producer of medicines based on the medicinal plant, Rajoelina added. L’État Malagasy lance un partenariat avec l’entreprise Bionexx, spécialisée dans la culture de l’#Artemisia afin de faire de #Madagascar le premier producteur africain de médicaments à base de cette plante aux grandes vertus médicinales ! pic.twitter.com/NjC4lel6Px— Andry Rajoelina (@SE_Rajoelina) June 18, 2020 COVID-Organics at a glance Rajoelina says it was developed by Malasy Institute of Applied Research. Says it is of two type, the curative and preventive It is made from Artemisia – an anti-malarial plant that grows on the island Another name for it is Tambavy CVO The WHO – global and Africa offices have cautioned against it and other unproven herbal drugs It is freely distributed in schools and in other public places A number of African countries officially requested for them, among others Tanzania, Congo, DRC, Chad, Comoros Madagascar made a donation to West African nations in the ECOWAS bloc. But the ECOWAS Commission clarified it hadn’t ordered for or endorsed the potion. Africa Centers for Disease Control is in talks with Madagascar over the potion According to Rajoelina, the country will sign a confidentiality clause with WHO on the formulation of the drug. A number of Africa countries are subjecting the donation to tests before administering if at all. Confirmed cases = 1,403 Number of deaths = 13 Recoveries = 463 Active cases = 927 John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of June 18, 2020 June 10: Chad takes more deliveries of COVID-Organics Last week, the Republic of Chad sent a jet to Madagascar for another round of COVID-Organics. President Rajoelina said the second donation was because of the positive effects the first achieved in the Central African country. 20,000 doses of the curative and preventive types of the herbal mixture was subsequently carted off by a delegation sent by the Chadian government. Chad remains one of the least impacted countries in the Central African region. According to the John Hopkins University tallies, it has 850 confirmed cases with 73 deaths and 720 recoveries. 57 active cases remain under treatment as of today, June 16, 2020 at 07:00 GMT. Madagascar’s statistics include: 1,290 confirmed cases, 10 deaths, 384 recoveries and 896 active cases as of today. Suite aux effets positifs constatés sur sa population, le #Tchad a demandé à recevoir pour la seconde fois du #CovidOrganics pour lutter contre le #Covid19. Ainsi, 20000 doses curatives et préventives ont été transmises aux émissaires du Président IdrissDebyI</a> ce jour. <a href="https://t.co/OizKyUdtJN">pic.twitter.com/OizKyUdtJN</a></p>— Andry Rajoelina (SE_Rajoelina) June 10, 2020 June 4: Minister sacked over sweets plan for bitter COVID-Organics A Malagasy Minister was fired over plans to buy sweets for children taking COVID-Organics in schools. Education minister Rijasoa Andriamanana planned to order $2.2m worth of sweets. Hoping to ease bitterness that the purported virus cure gave patrons, AFP news agency reported. She had shelved the plan even before being fired. President Rajoelina – chief patron of COVID-Organics – had rejected the idea. Each student in the country was expected to get three sweets, AFP added. The Thursday statement confirming her sacking, her counterpart in the higher education ministry, Elia Béatrice Assoumacou, was asked to double as education minister in acting capacity. Total confirmed cases = 1,026 Total recoveries = 212 Total deaths = 8 Active cases = 806 Figures valid as of close of day June 6, 2020 May 29: Retreat on COVID-Organics injectables Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina’s position that the purported remedy for COVID-19 will be administered in clinical trials has been clarified by director of the country’s judicial studies department. Rajoelina this week reiterated a clinical trial plan he announced last week saying the trial will involve administering the in its bottled form and also as injectables. However, Michelle Sahondrarimalala, a medical doctor and director from Legal Studies at the presidency, in clarification said the president had been misunderstood. She disclosed that there had at no point been the thought of putting artemisia in an injectable form further stressing that the scientific committee hadn’t considered this. Reports indicate that the National Medical Academy also cast doubt on the efficacy of the artemisia-based drink, warning of its potential health implications. Doctors are on record to have said the main treatment protocol in the country was not COVID-Organics. Total confirmed cases = 656 Total recoveries = 154 Total deaths = 2 Active cases = 500 Figures valid as of close of day May 28, 2020 May 21: Rajoelina speaks with Tedros President Andry Rajoelina says Madagascar will sign a confidentiality clause with the World Health Organization on the formulation of COVID-Organics, the purported cure for the coronavirus pandemic. He disclosed this after a teleconference with WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghabreyesus on Wednesday. He also said the WHO had agreed to support the country’s clinical observation process. “Successful exchange with Dr. Tedros who commends Madagascar’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19,” he posted on Twitter. Confirming the call, the WHO boss tweeted: “Good call with HE Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, about the #COVID19 situation in his country. “We discussed how to work together on therapeutics research and development. And we agreed that solidarity is key to fighting the pandemic and keeping the world safe,” he added. Madagascar case stats as of May 21 12:00 GMT Confirmed cases = 371 Recoveries = 131 Deaths = 2 Active cases = 238 Successful exchange with DrTedros</a> who commends <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Madagascar?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Madagascar</a>’s efforts in the fight against <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Covid19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Covid19</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/WHO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">WHO will sign a confidentiality clause on the formulation of the #CovidOrganics and will support the clinical observations process in #Africa. pic.twitter.com/SCZZRDKheV— Andry Rajoelina (@SE_Rajoelina) May 20, 2020 May 11: Madagascar prez dismisses ‘all critics’: would they doubt European cure? President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has delivered a scathing verdict of persons increasingly speaking against the country’s purported traditional cure for COVID-19. In an exclusive interview with French broadcasters, France24 and RFI, Rajoelina said his country will continue to administer and develop the cure which according to him accounts for majority of its virus recoveries. “We have 171 cases, including 105 cured. The patients who were cured took only the COVID-Organics medication,” he confirmed. Asked about warnings issued by WHO, ECOWAS and Africa CDC, he dismissed them stressing that the warnings are meant to detract and discourage progress of the drug, which Madagascar was not going to allow. “If it weren’t Madagascar, but a European country that had discovered the remedy COVID-Organics, would there be so many doubts? I do not think so…” “We say bad things about the Tambavy CVO product, when it only does good. They want to slow us down, discourage us, forbid us to move forward …” he further stressed. #EXCLUSIF – #Coronavirus : “On a eu 171 cas, dont 105 guéris. Les patients qui ont été guéris ont pris uniquement le produit #COVID_Organics.” Le président de #Madagascar ?? Andry #Rajoelina parle du remède développé sur l'île et répond à MPerelman</a> et <a href="https://twitter.com/ChBoisbouvier?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">ChBoisbouvier de RFI</a> ⤵ <a href="https://t.co/GfKaAvTeXv">pic.twitter.com/GfKaAvTeXv</a></p>&mdash; FRANCE 24 Français (France24_fr) May 11, 2020

Top 5 Safari Destinations In Africa You Should Visit


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Gambia: Jammeh's Convoy Driver Testifies Before TRRC


[Foroyaa] Warrant Officer Class 2, Lamin Sillah, who was a convoy driver during Yahya Jammeh's regime, on Thursday 9th July, testified before the TRRC with respect to an accident he was involved in.

Africa: Number of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Across Continent Nears 600,000


[allAfrica] As of July 13, confirmed the COVID-19 case total from 55 African countries has reached 594,954.

Why protesters are fed up with Sudan’s tricky transition

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The people are frustrated with a reform agenda that is unfolding at snail's pace. Thousands of people have, once again, taken to the streets of Sudan’s...

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Tanzania: I'm Indebted to Tanzanians - Magufuli


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Cameroon coronavirus: top medic dies, virus certificates for air travellers


July 12: COVID-19 certificates, medical losses Cameroon’s Halth Minister, Manaouda Malachie over the weekend gave two major updates on COVID-19 combat – one on air travel regulations and the other on loss of key health professional. The Minister said flights to Cameroon will have to ensure passengers present virus test results before boarding. “Negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than three (03) days mandatory for all boarding passengers. “Passengers who do not comply with this measure shall be prevented from travelling with these airlines,” the Minister added. The move is in line with latest regulations being imposed by countries reopening their airspaces to international traffic. On the loss to the medical fraternity, the state-run CRTV reported the death on Friday of Dr. Anastasie Akamba, head of a district hospital in the capital Yaounde who died from COVID-19. The state broadcaster said she had been in respiratory distress for days before succumbing. She was also the doctor for the Under-17 national women’s football team. The football federation confirmed the death last Friday, July 10. “Deeply touched by this other big loss that we are registering within the medical professional, I would like to express all my compassion to the bereaved families. We will continue to improve the protection of health personnel throughout this crisis,” Minister Manaouda tweeted. Confirmed cases = 15,173 Active cases = 2,886 Recoveries = 11,928 Number of deaths = 359 John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of July 13, 2020 Dr Anastasie Akamba, directrice de l’hôpital de District de la Cité Verte et médecin des #LionnesU17 est décédée ce jour des suites de maladie. Pensées émues pour la famille et ce serviteur du football féminin. pic.twitter.com/fKJm5ImfRC— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) July 10, 2020 May 2 – 3: Switzerland gives $5m support, health workers strike Switzerland has donated three billion CFA francs to help Cameroon combat coronavirus, its ambassador Pietro Lazzer told state broadcaster, CRTV. According to the diplomat, the amount is for humanitarian efforts. Aside the donation, his country was also coordinating support from Swiss companies in Cameroon to help in the response. He also touched on repatriation of nationals from Cameroon back home and vice versa. He reiterated that Switzerland also fully backed the ceasefire calls in restive regions as advocated by the United Nations Secretary-General last month. “Violence needs to stop in this area because the fighting of COVID-19 is a priority,” he said. Cameroon’s virus statistics as of May 4 stood at: 2,077 cases with 64 deaths and 953 recoveries. The country remains the most impacted in the Central Africa region. Staff from the main #COVID19 response center in Cameroon on strike as they claim that despite being highly exposed, they haven’t received any pay or insurance. 150 were apparently dismissed. https://t.co/2Q2kIa1krO— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) May 3, 2020 Health workers recruited by the Ministry of Public Health at the beginning of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Cameroon protested the non-payment of their salaries yesterday in Yaoundé, Centre Region. According to reports, the workers have gone for weeks without payment. pic.twitter.com/TvLxzCADXK— Gina Sondo ?? (@GinaSondo) May 3, 2020 April 24: Cameroon records recovery boom amid tally controversy Cameroon Health Minister gave updates on coronavirus figures weeks after he opted against releasing figures via his Twitter account. The latest figures by Minister Manaouda Malachie indicate a boom in recoveries which now stand at 688. At last count April 23, recoveries were at 397 meaning an increase of 291 had been recorded. He released the figures after a government COVID-19 pandemic assessment meeting on Friday. “Today’s statistics show 1,430 people infected, including 692 active, 120 hospitalized and 20 on respiratory assistance. 668 recovered and 43 deaths. We continue to control this virus,” his post read in part. The figures have however become the subject of disputation after some Twitter users point out that they did not add up. “The numbers do not add up sir, 692 + 668 + 43 is equal to 1403 not 1430,” one tweep observed. “The numbers are totally confusing. And the differences between these and those in the Ministry of Health official report to partners from two days ago adds to the confusion,” another user chipped in. As per the John Hopkins University data which Africanews relies on, active confirmed cases stood at 719, as against the 692 cases reported by the Minister. The Africa CDC and WHO Africa region had yet to release daily tallies at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry posted a statement on its official Facebook page with a case count of 1332 across eight regions of the country. It is silent on active cases but quotes 688 and 43 in respect of recoveries and deaths. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } April 18: Cameroon crosses 1,000 cases mark Cameroon consolidated its spot as Central Africa’s most impacted nation doubling its coronavirus tally in fifteen days and going past the 1,000 mark. In early April, the country’s infection stood at 509. It has reached 1,017 as of April 18 according to records by the john Hopkins University tracking site. There are 117 recoveries with 22 deaths. A social media push for president Paul Biya to address the nation did not pay off exactly but the president popped up on Thursday after a long public absence. His meeting with the French ambassador was the first time he had directly commented on the COVID-19 crisis. A post on his official social media handles said he had discussed cooperation with the ambassador in the fight against the rampaging pandemic. Cameroon like most African countries closed its borders – land, sea and air, suspended all academic activities but has not imposed a lockdown or curfew. Coordination of COVID-19 efforts has largely rested on Prime Minister Dion Nguthe. In early April, a month after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded, Cameroonians mounted a social media campaign demanding that 87-year-old Paul Biya addresses the nation like most of his peers across the continent were doing. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } April 3: Cameroon records 203 new cases as COVID-19 tally hits 509 Cameroon’s coronavirus tally as of April 3 stood at 509, Health Minister Manaouda Malachie confirmed in his daily briefing posted on Twitter. Of the current figure, 203 were new cases that came from tests run 800 travellers arrived in the country recently. Cameroon also has 17 recovered patients with eight deaths. “Our active case finding strategy is starting to pay off. We did 800 tests (majority of travelers) 203 of them are positive but asymptomatic, that we must leave the community and treat,” the Minister wrote in his post. Cameroon is the most impacted country across Central Africa. Only DR Congo have passed the 100 mark in the region with 134. Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Republic, Central African Republic and Chad have 21, 16, 22, 8 and 8 cases respectively. The Minister in outlining government strategy to deal with the pandemic said six main measures were being implemented: massive and generalized testing, placement in immediate treatment of cases, active surveillance of suspect cases. The remaining are awareness of the populations (hygiene, distance, etc.), border control and development of reliable local expertise for the response. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Why The Black Lives Matter Movement needs star amplification and solidarity

This Is Africa  

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South Africa bans alcohol sale, imposes curfew to curb COVID-19


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country will immediately return to a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds open to treat COVID-19 patients. Confronted by surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and made it mandatory for all residents to wear face masks when in public. Ramaphosa said, in a nationally televised address Sunday night, that top health officials warn of impending shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen as South Africa reaches a peak of COVID-19 cases, expected between the end of July and September. He said some hospitals have had to turn away patients because all their beds are full. South Africa’s rapid increase in reported cases has made it one of the world’s centers for COVID-19, as it is ranked as the 9th country most affected by the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country has reported increases of more than 10,000 confirmed cases for several days and the latest daily increase was nearly 13,500. South Africa accounts for 40% of all the confirmed cases in Africa, with 276,242, an increase of 12,058 in one day. South Africa has recorded 4,079 deaths, 25% of which have been in the past week, said Ramaphosa. “While the surge of infections has been expected, the force and the speed with which it has progressed has, quite understandably, caused great concern,” said Ramaphosa. “Many of us are fearful of the danger this presents for ourselves, and for our families.” Ramaphosa said that since the sale of alcohol was re-introduced on in June, hospitals have experienced a spike in admissions in their trauma and emergency wards. The countrywide curfew mandates that people must not be on the roads between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. effective Monday. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Masks have also been declared mandatory, with all transport operators, employers, and owners of businesses and buildings now legally obliged to ensure everyone entering their businesses or premises are wearing masks. Ramaphosa lambasted citizens who have continued to have social gatherings, including parties and overcrowded funerals, saying they had contributed significantly to the rapid spread of the virus. “In the midst of our national effort to fight against this virus there are a number of people who have taken to organizing parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around in crowded spaces without masks,” he said. South Africa imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in April and May, including closing virtually all mines, factories and businesses, and a ban on sales of liquor and cigarettes. The measures slowed the spread of the coronavirus but South Africa’s economy, already in recession, contracted dramatically, increasing unemployment above 30% and hunger. In June the country began relaxing restrictions to allow millions of South Africans to return to work. The easing of restrictions allowed the sales of alcohol on four days a week. However, within a few weeks the country’s numbers of confirmed cases and hospitalizations increased dramatically, bringing Ramaphosa to reimpose the ban on alcohol sales and other restrictions. More than 30% of South Africa’s cases are in the economic hub of Gauteng province, which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, and the capital, Pretoria. The tourist center of Cape Town also has a high number of cases. Johannesburg’s densely populated Soweto township has a high concentration of cases, according to officials. “We knew that with the easing of restrictions, the number of cases would go up. But what is surprising is the speed with which the case numbers have grown,” said Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, who is on the national coronavirus committee that is advising Ramaphosa. “We can expect to see the numbers of cases and hospitalizations to increase for a number of weeks … this will continue for the next six to eight weeks. By October we may be seeing a decline.” South Africa has carried out 2.1 million tests, on its population of 58 million. Because of an international shortage of testing materials, South Africa in June experienced a long delay in the time to get test results, at one point reaching 12 days in government clinics. The situation has improved and the average time to get test results is five days in by public laboratories and two days in private labs, according to the latest figures issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Africa’s 54 countries have reported 577,904 cases, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The continent’s confirmed cases are concentrated in four countries — South Africa, Egypt with 81,158 cases, Nigeria with 31,987 cases and Algeria with 18,712 cases – which together make up more than 65% of the continent’s cases. The number of actual cases in Africa is believed to be much higher, as the testing rate is very low in many countries. AP

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Rwanda: COVID-19 Threatens to Thwart Progress to End Gender-Based Violence


[New Times] The Covid-19 pandemic threatens to derail progress made towards ending gender-based violence (GBV) that especially women experience in Rwanda and across the world, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says.

Kenya: Rising Lake Nakuru Water Levels Turn Homes Into Fishing Grounds


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Kenya: 90% of Residents in Nairobi's Informal Settlements Open to COVID-19 Screening - Poll


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Africa COVID-19 stats: 594,955 cases; 13,246 deaths; 295,242 recoveries


There are now more than over 590,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, with a number of African countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic. According to the latest data by the John Hopkins University and Africa Center for Disease Control on COVID-19 in Africa, the breakdown remains fluid as countries confirm cases as and when. As of May 13, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho. We shall keep updating this list largely sourced from the John Hopkins University tallies, Africa CDC and from official government data. SUGGESTED READING: Africa’s COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000 mark Major African stats: July 13 at 7:00 GMT: Confirmed cases = 594,955 Active cases = 286,467 Recoveries = 295,242 Number of deaths = 13,246 Countries in alphabetical order Algeria – 19,195 Angola – 506 Benin – 1,378 Botswana – 399 Burkina Faso – 1,036 Burundi – 191 Cameroon – 15,173 Cape Verde – 1,623 Central African Republic – 4,288 Chad – 880 Comoros – 317 Congo-Brazzaville – 2,028 DR Congo – 8,033 Djibouti – 4,972 Egypt – 82,070 Equatorial Guinea – 3,071 Eritrea – 232 Eswatini – 1,351 Ethiopia – 7,560 Gabon – 5,942 (The) Gambia – 64 Ghana – 24,518 Guinea – 6,141 Guinea-Bissau – 1,842 Ivory Coast – 12,766 Kenya – 10,105 Lesotho – 233 Liberia – 1,010 Libya – 1,433 Madagascar – 4,867 Malawi – 2,364 Mali – 2,411 Mauritania – 5,355 Mauritius – 342 Morocco – 15,745 Mozambique – 1,157 Namibia – 785 Niger – 1,099 Nigeria- 32,558 Rwanda – 1,337 Sao Tome and Principe – 729 Senegal – 8,135 Seychelles – 100 Sierra Leone – 1,635 Somalia – 3,059 South Africa – 276,242 South Sudan – 2,021 Sudan – 10,250 Tanzania – 509 Togo – 720 Tunisia – 1,263 Uganda – 1,025 Zambia – 1,895 Zimbabwe – 985 SUGGESTED READING: rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Africa II

Nigeria: What Happens When Girls Say 'No'?


[This Day] A recent United Nations report finds that one-in-four women globally feel powerless to refuse sex with a husband or partner. Yet, the problem could be even worse, as the report does not consider girls under 17. In Nigeria, where masculinity is too often weaponized, girls may be even more vulnerable. Especially now, during the stress of a pandemic and intermittent lockdowns, girls and women need the power to say no.

Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi dies at 59

BBC News Africa  

The youngest daughter of South Africa's first black president dies aged 59.

Ashburn Update