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Coronavirus in Africa Surpasses 1.8m, over 44,000 Deaths

At least 44,471 people have died from the virus across the continent, while nearly 1.5 million more have recovered, according to the data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Africa’s coronavirus cases to date now total over 1.8 million, according to the latest figures released on Saturday by the World Health Organization’s Africa office.

At least 44,471 people have died from the virus across the continent, while nearly 1.5 million more have recovered, according to the data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Regionally, Southern Africa has 820,036 confirmed cases, North Africa 556,510, East Africa 224,614, West Africa 193,145, and Central Africa has 61,091.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent, with a total of 734,175 cases to date, including 675,593 recoveries and 19,749 deaths.

Related: COVID-19 Deaths In Africa To 43,000, Says WHO

Last week, the World Health Organization regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said at a virtual news briefing that the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to key health services on the continent, raising fears that some of Africa’s main health problems will worsen.

“As health resources are heavily focused on COVID-19, coupled with fear and restrictions affecting people’s daily lives, vulnerable populations face an increased risk of falling through the cracks,” Moeti said.

“We need to strengthen our health systems to better cope with future crises. A robust health system is a foundation for emergency preparedness and response. As countries ease restrictions related to COVID-19, we must not let the pandemic resurface,” Moeti added.

Read also:  Africa Will Get 220 Million Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine – WHO

Even before the pandemic, maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa was at an unacceptable level, accounting for around two-thirds of maternal deaths worldwide in 2017, according to the WHO.

WHO Africa said it has advised countries on how to ensure continuity of other essential health services by optimizing parameters of service delivery, redistributing resources for health workers, and proposing ways to ensure the continuous supply of drugs and other required goods.

East Africa News

Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique

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No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.

News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.

The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.

The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.

He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

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East Africa News

Tigray: Ethiopia, U.N Reach Agreement On Provision Of Aids

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The Ethiopian government and the United Nations (U.N) have reached an agreement on the provision of access to humanitarian aids.

This was revealed by U.N officials on Wednesday, as they claim that the Ethiopian government has agreed to the provision of aids in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.

Ethiopia and Tigray, a powerful region in the north of the country, have been at loggerheads since the 4th of November.

The Ethiopian government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of destroying public properties and wreaking a havoc on the state.

This led to battles between the giant of the Horn of Africa and the rebellious Tigrayan forces.

The UN, through its refugee agency, warned about the lean supply of food to the more than 100,000 refugees in Ethiopia. At least 46,000 Ethiopians have also taken refuge in neighbouring Sudan, where they are short on food supply, according to the U.N.

Read also: UN Seeks $147m Support For Ethiopians In Sudan

Also affected in the food crunch are refugees in Eritrea, Ethiopia’s closest neighbours.

African envoys had called for a truce amid the Ethiopian government’s rejection of mediation from the international community.

Mister Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said on Monday that Mekelle has been captured, as he revealed that no civilian was hit in the process.

His claims were however rejected by the leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael who claimed that the Ethiopian government hit civilians in its onslaught on Mekelle.

The TPLF has refused to back down from its conflict with Ethiopia, denying that the battle is not over, contrary to the claims of Mister Ahmed.

Ethiopia is gearing up for its election in 2021, with political matters forming a part of the reasons for the ongoing conflict.

Mister Ahmed postponed the Ethiopian elections in August, citing COVID-19 as the reason for the decision. The TPLF has accused the Prime Minister of illegally leading government by buying himself more time through postponement of the election.

The TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before the emergence of Mister Ahmed in 2018.

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Health

COVID-19: 281 New Cases, 3 Deaths Reported in Nigeria

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Nigeria has announced 281 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on its verified website on Tuesday, said the West African nation also recorded three deaths.

The NCDC said that the new infections brought the total number of cases in Nigeria to 67,838.

Data obtained from the (NCDC) website showed that Lagos State recorded the highest number of infections with 123, while the Federal Capital Territory had 64, Kaduna and Imo reported, 38 and 15 infections respectively.

Rivers had 11, Plateau 8, Ogun 5, Bayelsa and Kwara had 4 each, Bauchi and Edo had 3 each; Kano 2 and Osun 1.

The agency reports that Nigeria has so far tested 779,708 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced on Feb. 27, 2020.

The agency said 148 patients have recovered from COVID-190 and have been discharged from different isolation centres in the country.

“Our discharges include 61 community recoveries in Lagos State managed in line with guidelines,’’ the centre said.

The NCDC stated that there were three COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Nigeria.

The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) was activated at Level Three to coordinate the national response activities.

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