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Clinical Officers Give Kenyan Government 14-Day Strike Notice

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The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers on Sunday gave the government a 14-day strike notice to meet their demands for better working conditions.

The frontline healthcare workers, fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, are demanding adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) and risk allowance.

The notice comes at a time the government is facing another strike threat from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union.

Allowance aside, the healthcare workers are also mourning their colleagues who have succumbed to the pandemic in the last few days.

Others who succumbed to coronavirus-related cases were said to have had underlying cases.

Seven clinical officers have succumbed to COVID-19 so far following the demise of a clinical officer based at Kisii Level 5 hospital, in western Kenya.

As at Sunday, 33 health workers, including specialist doctors, had succumbed to the pandemic.

According to the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Chairman, Peterson Wachira, the loss of lives could have been avoided if the government had heeded advice by health unions and the World Health Organization to exempt vulnerable health practitioners from active duty.

The health care workers say they will invoke the Occupational Safety and Health Act and withdraw services until their safety is guaranteed if the employer challenges the strike notice in court.

They said they will not negotiate on matters pertaining to the sanctity of life of their members.

The union also wants vulnerable health workers or those with pre-existing conditions exempted from active frontline duty.

Union leaders have also called for the provision of a comprehensive medical cover for health workers and their dependants.

East Africa News

Kenya Looks to China for COVID-19 Vaccine

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President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has ordered the ministry of health to shop for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in China, a government official has disclosed.

Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, in a statement on Monday, said President Kenyatta gave the order following the increasing cases of the disease in Kenya.

“Covid-19 seems to be making a comeback with a vengeance and for us in Kenya, the cases in the counties seem to be growing,” Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said on Monday.

“While Kemri continues to collaborate with AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the trials for this vaccine, the government remains open to other collaborative opportunities.”

On Monday, 302 people tested positive for the virus, from a sample of 3,038 bringing the total of positives since March 13 to 83,618.

The death rate remains high and yesterday 17 people succumbed to the virus, bringing total fatalities to 1,469.

There are now more than 80,000 people who have been confirmed Covid-19 positive in Kenya. More than 1,400 have died from the disease.

The country’s decision comes in the wake of rich countries in the west buying nearly 3.8 billion doses of vaccines currently in development, according to a study by Duke Global Health Innovation Centre.

China has five home-grown vaccine candidates in phase three trials, usually, the last step before government regulators vet the vaccine for approval.

Chinese President Xi Jinping already promised the successful candidates will be offered to Africa at a discounted price leading to China being accused of ‘vaccine diplomacy.’ However, countries, where the Chinese vaccines are being tested, will receive preference.

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Nigeria Records 110 New COVID-19 Infections in 11 States

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed 110 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The NCDC made this known via the agency’s website on Saturday.

The public health agency said that the new cases brought the total number of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria to 67,330.

Nigeria has so far tested 756,237 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced on Feb. 27 this year.

The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the centre, the 110 new cases are reported from 11 states with Lagos having 26; the FCT, 23; Kaduna, 20 and Katsina, 11.

Ogun recorded nine cases; Ekiti, six; Plateau, five; Rivers, four; Kano and Nasarawa, three each and Niger had two.

The NCDC said that till date, 67,330 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed out of which 62,819 patients had been discharged from the various isolation centres across the country.

The centre said the nation had so far recorded 1,171 COVID-19-related deaths.

The public health agency said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated at Level 3 to coordinate response activities. (NAN)

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 Deaths Hit 1171, New Cases 246

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Death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria increased to 1,171 after the West African nation announced two new fatalities on Friday.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 246 new cases were also recorded in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its verified website on Friday.

The agency said that the infections brought the total number of cases in the country to 67,220.

Nigeria has tested 756,237 persons since the first confirmed case was announced on Feb. 27.

The country had since April suffered over 67,000 cases as total infections hit 67,220 and total recovery and discharge stood at 62,686.

The agency, however, said that there were two confirmed deaths within the last 24 hours, with 101 patients discharged from isolation centers across the country.

The NCDC said that the new infection were spread across nine states and the Federal Capital Territory.

It noted that Lagos led in the number of cases with 81, 73 in FCT, 39 in Plateau and 25 in Kaduna.

Among other states were Ogun with 13 infections, Bauchi, 5, Rivers, 4 and Ekiti, Taraba and Kano 2 each.

The public health agency said that till date, 67,220 cases had been confirmed, 62,686, discharged and 1,171 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) was activated at Level 3, and had continued to coordinate the national response activities.

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