GUINEA DISCHARGES LAST EBOLA PATIENT
We begin the news at this hour in West Africa where Guinea’s last Ebola patient has been discharged from the treatment center.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says this marks the beginning of a 42-day countdown to declare the end of Ebola outbreak in the country.
The WHO tweeted a photo of the last patient leaving the facility.
In February, Guinea declared it was dealing with Ebola after reporting its first death since 2016.
The WHO responded with newly developed vaccines to contain the epidemic that claimed thousands of lives in several West African countries between 2013 and 2016.
Staying in West Africa, the Nigerian Government has pledged to encourage private investment in the country’s livestock sector to curb banditry, cattle rustling and farmers-herdsmen clashes.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, says one of the observations made at the recent Town Hall Meeting on National Security held in Kaduna State, North was that the current system of animal husbandry in the country has become unsustainable.
The Minister adds that participants at the town hall meeting underscored the need to mechanize the sector and adopt deliberate policies to attract investors.
Mohammed affirmed that the National Livestock Transformation Plan inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is in line with the recommendations of the town hall meeting.
We head to East Africa where the UK government has called for restraint as fighting broke out in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
Rival units in the Security Forces and some former warlords and clan leaders clashed on Sunday.
The British embassy in Somalia says the reports of violence are deeply concerning.
The international community has been calling for dialogue on the election impasse in the East African country after parliament extended President Mohamed Farmajo’s term by two years.
Former President Hassan Mohamud and opposition leader Abdirahman Abdishakur say pro-government soldiers attacked their homes although government has since denied the accusations.
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has also called for negotiations following Sunday’s violence.
CYCLONE JOBO MAKES WEAK LANDFALL
Staying in East Africa, a huge cyclone that had been forecast to hit Tanzania’s coastline on Sunday, Cyclone weakened considerably as it made a landfall lessening the impact of predicted results.
Tropical Cyclone Jobo had been predicted by Meteorological authorities to be the most powerful cyclone to land in Tanzania in more than 50 years.
People living in low lying areas had been advised to move to higher ground.
Authorities in the Tanzania’s island of Zanzibar halted all sea activities, including fishing and transport.
KALUUYA’S OSCAR WIN
Staying in East Africa, Ugandans online have cheered on British actor, Daniel Kaluuya who is of Ugandan origin after his Oscar win.
Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah.
In his speech he thanked his fans from London and Kampala.
His Ugandan mom who was in the audience was also credited for her contribution to his career.
During the press interviews Kaluuya disclosed he would not be receiving calls for a while.
MY OCTOPUS TEACHER AT THE 2021 OSCARS
Meanwhile, South Africa’s documentary My Octopus Teacherhas won an Oscar for Best Documentary.
The documentary is about a friendship between a diver and an octopus.
It followed South African free diver Craig Foster as he tracked a young octopus in her den in a kelp forest off the coast of Cape Town for nearly a year.
The film beat four other documentaries to emerge the best.
On Friday, South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa wrote a letter to the team lauding them for their Oscar nomination which he termed as a first for a South African film.
TOTAL SUSPENDS OPS IN NORTHERN MOZAMBIQUE GAS FIELD
French energy giant, Total has suspended operations at a site exploring a major gas field in northern Mozambique, weeks after militants attacked a nearby town.
The company says it is withdrawing all staff owing to the tense security situation.
Dozens of people were killed in the March raid.
Militants linked to the Islamic State group (IS) are behind the conflict in the predominantly Muslim region.
Last year, Total began to develop a $20 billion gas liquification plant – which, when complete, will be the second largest gas reserve in Africa.
SOUTH AFRICA AND COVID-19 VACCINES
South Africa will resume its Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine rollout on Wednesday following recommendations from its cabinet and the health regulatory authority.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says it’s been established that there is a one-in-a-million chance of getting the clot after the vaccine.
He adds that with such low probability of developing a clot, regulators across the world have recommended the continued use of the vaccine.
Mkhize says authorities will work to ensure there is intensified pre-vaccination assessment and post vaccination monitoring when the rollout is resumed.
South Africa suspended its Johnson and Johnson vaccination program two weeks ago over concerns that the jab could cause blood clot.
COVID-19 IN TUNISIA
In North Africa, the Tunisian Health Ministry has reported 1,770 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections in the country to 300,342.
The ministry says the death toll from the virus rose by 73 to 10,304 in Tunisia.
It adds that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the North African country reached 2,710, including 515 in intensive care units, while the total number of recoveries reached 249,146.
Over 1.27 million lab tests have been carried out in Tunisia so far.
COVID-19 IN ETHIOPIA
In East Africa, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health registered 1,324 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide COVID-19 total to 252,279.
The ministry says 20 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported across the country, bringing the national total to 3,551.
The East African country reported 2,734 more recoveries, taking the national count to 192,747.
According to the ministry, Ethiopia currently has 55,979 active COVID-19 cases, of which 1,010 are under severe health conditions.
The East African nation has so far conducted over 2.55 million COVID-19 medical tests.
The latest figures from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Ethiopia’s COVID-19 cases accounted for about 6 percent of the African continent’s total confirmed cases.
COVID-19 IN NIGERIA
In West Africa, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the number of COVID-19 deaths in Nigeria increased with one reported after 13 days, raising total fatalities to 2,062.
The NCDC also registered 35 new infections in the country on April 25.
It says the new cases mark a decrease from 51 logged the previous day.
The agency noted that the 35 new cases were recorded in five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It said 18 of the new cases were from Lagos state, Rivers 7, Oyo 6, FCT 2, Ekiti 1 and Kaduna 1.
Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed to start quarantine-free travel between the two cities from May 26.
The long-delayed travel bubble was first billed to begin in November, but was suspended after a sudden spike of Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong.
If it goes ahead, the travel bubble will be the second major air route in the region to open after Australia and New Zealand resumed flights last week.
It is expected to provide a boost to the tourism sectors of both cities.
The Air Travel Bubble will begin cautiously with just one flight a day in each direction carrying a maximum of 200 passengers for the first two weeks.
Meanwhile, thousands of Indians are outraged after the government ordered social media platform Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of coronavirus virus.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed it had blocked some material from being viewed in India.
The country faces a massive surge in cases, with many of its hospitals facing an oxygen shortage.
One Twitter user accused the government of finding it easier to take down tweets than ensure oxygen supplies.
India recorded 352,991 new infections on Monday and 2,812 deaths – the highest single-day spike so far.
NIGERIA STOCK LIMITED
The Nigeria Exchange Limited has posted gains at the end of the trading session on Friday, making it the fifth day of a bullish run. The All-Share Index increased by +0.43% to close at 39,301.82 from 39,131.80 index points.
The market capitalisation currently stands at NGN 20.57Tr. It’s Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stands at – 2.41%.
The market closed in profit as TRIPPLEG led 31 Gainers, and UNIONDICON topped the chart of 11 Losers with a strong bullish movement by the NSE ASI.
KENYA FOREX RESERVES
Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves have risen for the third consecutive week to $7.73 billion from $7.66 billion a week earlier.
According to the Central Bank of Kenya, the reserves are sufficient to cover 4.75 months of imports, above the statutory requirement of at least 4 months of import cover and above the East African Community requirement of at least 4.5 months of import cover.
Liquidity in the money market has been relatively tight as companies remitted taxes while government payments boosted the amount of money in circulation.
Excess reserves held by commercial banks amounted to KSh5 billion in the week that ended on April 22, compared to a shortfall of KSh6.2 billion recorded the previous week.
Coach Gavin Hunt praised the character of his Kaizer Chiefs players after they defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in their DStv Premiership clash.
An own goal from Mosa Lebusa and a Dumisani Zuma strike handed Chiefs the win after Gaston Sirino had put Sundowns ahead in the first half.
It was a first league defeat of the season for The Brazilians.
Chiefs host relegation-threatened Chippa United in midweek and then travel to tricky Bloemfontein Celtic, who like them are also vying for a top-eight place.
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